Loading articles...

Russian athletes should be banned from Olympics: expert

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Should Russia be banned from competing in their own Olympics in Sochi over the country’s anti-gay laws?

Olympic blogger Cyd Zeigler with Outsports says instead of other countries boycotting, Russia should simply be banned.

Zeigler says the ban isn’t meant to punish Russian athletes, but thinks the anger might help bring about change within the country. “Athletes vote for the politicians and the politicians create the policy. It’s not just the Russian politicians, it’s the Russian people. It’s not like it was some 200 – 199 vote, it was 430 – 0.”

“Banning nations has worked in the past to create human rights improvements in various countries, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and on issues of race and gender, sexual orientation is the next one,” he says.

Zeigler adds the new Russian law is in clear and direct conflict with the Olympic Charter, and thinks the IOC has to step up and take action.

There have been ongoing calls for the Olympics to be moved to Vancouver but a former city planner says it’s not possible. Brent Toderian says Vancouver made sure all Olympic venues would be used after the games. He says it would be too difficult to kick everyone out of them to make room for Olympic events.

“Ironically, cities that were less successful creating legacies that could transform into something that serves the city, they may have a white elephant sitting there empty, ready to be used if the Olympics wanted to move there.”