September 23, 2017

Drug scandal broken out right after the second part of Richard McLaren’s report was published. It has inflicted Russia grave image damage. The Kremlin has in fact suffered a significant moral defeat within the largest social and cultural domain which is sport.

Seeking to come out of an embarrassing situation, Russian functionaries are trying to divert attention of the international community from the revealed flagrant facts of corruption and fraud in sport. Their actions can be frequently described as lawless. Therefore a statement has recently hit the media that International Draughts Federation (IDF) had introduced repressive measures in respect of one of the best grand masters who is the Ukrainian draughts world champion-64 Yuriy Anikeev. By the IDF decision Yuriy Anikeev was suspended from the entire tournament for three-year term.

An obvious question arises: How is Russia entangled in it? The thing is that Russia has quorum in IDF enabling it to lobby any advantageous decisions. Besides the IDF chairman is Russian. These circumstances altogether allowed Russia to trump up the case against Anikeev and apply the repressive measures to him. The alleged reason of such activities is the violence of the IDF ethical code committed by Anikeev. In particular, Anikeev was charged in inconsistent polemics in mass media, “pretentious thoughts” in terms of draughts development and “some statements in regard to Putin.

When the journalists and Ukrainian Draughts Federation officials submitted a demand to the IDF administration to provide precise facts, name the publications in mass media containing Anikeev’s declarations or quote his statements IDF responded with silence. That’s because such statements simply do not exist!

The apotheosis of the absurdity in charges of Yuriy Anikeev became the accusation of him having worn the embroidered national Ukrainian shirt in the course of victory ceremony. It instills the idea that Russian chairman of IDF may have taken a dose of meldonium or drunk some national “Russian” alcoholic beverage “Boyaryshnik”.

Such a grotesque nonsense would have been ridiculous but for a dismal reality – revealed facts of the Russia’s large-scale fraud in sport. Particularly it concerns the report presented by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) bearing witness of more than thousand Russian athletes who participated in Summer and Winter Olympics and Paralympics having been involved in doping consumption. The scale of machinations with tests attests that drug consumption by Russian athletes was carried out under the aegis of official authorities which means that the whole scheme worked with active support of the government. One fact remains obvious: Russian National Olympics Committee has severely breached the Olympics Charter.

There are also serious grounds to speak of corrupt activities of the Russian sport officials in FIFA in terms of determining the FIFA World Cup 2018 venue. Russia has not only completely compromised itself due to its aggressive behavior on the international arena but also can be now considered a sport terrorist and corruptor.

In this context the demands of international and sport community, national sport committees and international sport federations to deprive Russia of the right to take part in both the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and Summer Games Tokyo 2020. FIFA is also going to revise its decision to hold the 2018 FIFA World Cup final in Russia.

In terms of IDF decision in regard to Ukrainian draughts world champion it looks as a miserable and primitive attempt of a Russian sport functionary to gain favour with the Kremlin administration. All these facts do confirm the saying “Give a man enough rope and he will hang himself”.

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