Huffington Post reporter Travis Waldron published an opinion editorial Tuesday, suggesting that if Russia is banned from the Olympics for drugging its athletes, the United States should also be banned as well, over the sexual abuses committed by Olympic doctor Larry Nassar.
Waldron began his op-ed by referring to remarks by International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams at a press briefing last week, where “there was stern talk about a country of cheaters so shot through with a gold-at-all-costs mentality that they countenanced the systematic exploitation of Olympic athletes.”
Waldron’s editorial continued:
And when they weren’t talking about the United States, they talked some about Russia.
“I join everyone by saying how appalling this is and how appalled as a parent you can be when you read these things,” Adams said to reporters, referring to the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case that has consumed USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee. Moments earlier, he had addressed a mild softening of the IOC’s ban on Russian athletes from the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, vamping about “democracy and liberty and freedom.”
It was a revealing moment, a pair of Olympic scandals meeting on the eve of the Winter Games, which began in earnest Friday. In Adams’ fluent institutionalese — his “guidelines” and “briefings” and “processes” and “agenda” — the grotesque particulars of the two cases fell away, and you could begin to see the essential similarities.
These were both scandals of entrenched abuse, born in one instance and deepened in the other out of a desire to win. Because of a wish for Olympic superiority, Russia’s Olympic Committee systematically drugged its athletes. Because of a wish for Olympic superiority, the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics failed to protect their athletes from the interweaving of emotional and sexual abuse.
So why not ban the United States? By what moral logic are the Russians any more deserving of punishment than Americans?
CLICK HERE TO READ HIS FULL OPINION EDITORIAL.
The U.S. Olympic Committee enabled systemic sexual abuse in order to win medals. By what moral logic is that not worse than Russia’s crimes?https://t.co/yuHuSv9b30
— Travis Waldron (@Travis_Waldron) February 13, 2018