In Russia, latest Olympic activity is burning a doping whistleblower scarecrow

Russian fans at the 2018 Winter Olympics have largely embraced the official status of their sports-playing countrymen as “Olympic Athletes from Russia.” They’ve descended on stadiums with Russian flags, and used their strong presence to make a mockery of the IOC’s decision to ban the state-sponsored dopers from the Games.

But back home, citizens apparently haven’t forgotten about public enemy No. 1.

His name is Grigory Rodchenkov, and he’s the anti-doping lab director-turned-whistleblower who helped Russians cheat their way to Olympic medals, then exposed how they did so. He’s currently in hiding in the U.S., communicating with authorities and journalists via a lawyer. If he weren’t in hiding, he’d likely be either in a Russian prison or dead.

So, since they can’t physically harm the real Rodchenkov, a small group of Russians in Perm appear to have built one. Or, rather, they built a scarecrow, cut out a photo of Rodchenkov’s face, pinned it to the scarecrow’s head, and slapped “WADA” – the acronym for the World Anti-Doping Agency – on its chest:


Then they burned it. And seemingly danced around in a circle as flames intensified and smoke rose.

Russians in Perm burn a scarecrow of doping whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov. (Photo: @vikiperm on Twitter)
Russians in Perm burn a scarecrow of doping whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov. (Photo: @vikiperm on Twitter)

WADA, of course, was the organization behind the McLaren Report, which exposed Russia’s extensive doping program. After further investigation and consideration, the IOC used evidence from the report to ban the Russian Olympic Committee – its dignitaries, its flag, but not all its athletes – from PyeongChang.

Rodchenkov, meanwhile, remains a crucial source for international sports governing bodies in their pursuit of doping justice. His next target will likely be FIFA and Russia’s national soccer team.

You would think, at this point, that Russians have learned their lesson. But nope! A Russian curler who won a bronze medal in PyeongChang recently tested positive for a banned substance, and has been formally charged with doping.

So you would think, then, that Russians would accept that, you know, maybe our athletes and sporting officials did break the rules. But nope! Blame the police and the whistleblower!

More Olympic coverage from Yahoo Sports:
Russian curler formally charged with doping in PyeongChang
Ice dancer on wardrobe malfunction: ‘It was my worst nightmare’
Adam Rippon won’t actually be an NBC Olympic correspondent
Vonn playing ‘mind games’ after third-place training run
Gold medalist comforts silver medalist in true Olympic moment

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