This is a period which included the run-up to London 2012 as well as the Sochi Winter 2014 Olympics on Russian soil, and WADA insists Russia should receive a total ban from competing in Brazil this summer, in both the Olympics and Paralympics. Russia’s track and field competitors had already been prevented from taking part by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), but a blanket ban could now be enforced across all remaining sports as well.
Russia is traditionally one of the strongest nations at the Olympics and came fourth in the medal table in 2012, behind the United States, China and hosts Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Russia’s potential absence from Rio de Janeiro means that other nations stand to benefit by gaining more medals, and so it could work in the favour of certain British athletes going for gold in Rio de Janeiro.
Team GB hope to make the forthcoming Olympics their best ever away from home, and had already set a medals target of between 48 and 79 before the WADA report, submitted by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, called for even tougher action against Russia. Team GB finished with 65 medals in London and bookies reckon they will have another successful Games.
Sky Bet has odds of 10/11 that Great Britain and Northern Ireland will collect over 53.5 medals, and the same odds that they will earn under 53.5, and the problems now facing the Russian Olympic team could create even more opportunities for British athletes to finish in podium places.