The 23rd Winter Olympics kick off today in Pyeonchang, South Korea. All the big Winter Olympics nations will be represented: Norway; USA; Germany; Canada; OAR. OAR?
OAR stands for Olympic Athlete from Russia. The anomaly stems from the fact that Russia itself is banned from the Pyeonchang games after the McLaren Report identified a state-sponsored cover-up of Russian athletes who were using performance-enhancing drugs.
The OAR team is comprised of Russian athletes who have a consistent history of drug testing without any evidence of doping, as designated by the International Olympics Committee.
The inclusion of the OAR team has been met with mixed reactions; part outrage; part support.
I suggest a further extension of the Olympics’ principle of inclusivity. The Drugsland team.
The Drugsland team would be made up of any athlete who has received a current, or past, ban for doping offences. All druggies could come together under one flag –– the specimen pot and two crossed syringes –– and stand on the podium as their anthem –– Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds –– belts out proudly in the background.
Imagine those athletes we could see back in the fold: Lance Armstrong in the cycling; Marion Jones and Ben Johnson on the track; weightlifters too many to mention.
Inclusion of the Drugsland team might upset some of the honest, hard-working, drugs-clean athletes, who have trained hard in order to rise to the pinnacle of their sport, but there would be one consolation: if you beat one of the Drugsland team you’d really know that you were champion of the world.
© The Mudskipper