The violations eventually came to involve more than 1,000 athletes, coaches and sports officials in Russia and led to blanket bans on Russia’s competing in international sports, including the Olympics.
Russia spent years trying to overturn the bans and in December won a partial victory in the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which cleared the way for 330 Russians to compete in Tokyo, though not in national uniform, over the objections of antidoping officials.
Many Russians are just happy to see their gymnasts, swimmers, equestrians, archers and other athletes have a shot at medals. But on a darker note, beating the doping restrictions for some Russians also became something to cheer for this summer.
Russian propaganda and even some of the team members have been thumbing their noses at the doping regulators’ flimsy form of punishment.
A wall mural in Moscow, for example, shows a martial arts practitioner in a kimono sporting a bear emblem flipping a competitor in a kimono with the insignia of WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency.