The IOC president, Thomas Bach, at a meeting last month // IOC

The IOC president, Thomas Bach, at a meeting last month // IOC

Doping

Choosing to be on the right side of history

The law of unintended consequences can be a horrible thing. Simply put, we don’t know what we don’t know.

If the Russians are kept out of the 2016 Olympics, what will be the import for sport? In politics? In global affairs? Don’t kid yourself. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, can be deadly serious about a lot of things.

IAAF president Seb Coe, here at the European championships earlier this month, attended Monday's CAS hearing // Getty Images

IAAF president Seb Coe, here at the European championships earlier this month, attended Monday's CAS hearing // Getty Images

Doping

CAS: Could, should, even might have been asked

Three years ago, in the space of a week, 40 track and field athletes in Turkey were suspended for doping offenses. Each got a two-year ban. Of those 40, 31 came in a one-day chunk. Of those 31, 20 were 23 or younger.

Did track and field’s international governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations, move to ban Turkey? No. Was what happened in 2013 within the current four-year Olympic cycle? Obviously. And yet — the IAAF is seeking now to effect a ban against Russia, and 68 track and field athletes, for the Rio Games? Logically: explain the difference, please.

Russian sport graph

Doping

Purposely, door still wide open for Russia

The most important note from the compelling report released Monday in a World Anti-Doping Agency-commissioned inquiry into allegations of Russian doping is super-clear and, because of that, all the more striking: there is no recommendation about what, as Lenin might have put it, is to be done.

This means the door has, purposely, been left wide-open for Russian athletes to take part in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. As they should.

The IOC president, Thomas Bach // IOC

The IOC president, Thomas Bach // IOC

Doping

Congress, yet again, proves Mark Twain right

“Suppose,” the American author and humorist Mark Twain once said, “you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

The United States House of Representatives, which can’t agree on gun control legislation or pretty much anything, makes it a priority in the doldrums of a Washington summer to weigh in on issues sparked by allegations of doping in international sport?

Just after the finish in the 200: Tori Bowie, left, is the winner; Jenna Prandini, on the ground, is third; Allyson Felix, in blue, fourth; Deajah Stevens, right in green, second // Getty Images

Just after the finish in the 200: Tori Bowie, left, is the winner; Jenna Prandini, on the ground, is third; Allyson Felix, in blue, fourth; Deajah Stevens, right in green, second // Getty Images

Track and field

The ups and downs of ‘hardest team to make’

EUGENE — As Sunday’s final-day action at historic Hayward Field got underway, the crowd was told — this is the mantra of the 2016 Trials — that the U.S. Olympic track and field team is “the hardest team to make.”

It’s not. The swim team is way harder. But more on that in a moment.