Russia'Olympic committee president Alexander Zhukov at a meeting last week in Moscow // Getty Images

Russia'Olympic committee president Alexander Zhukov at a meeting last week in Moscow // Getty Images

Doping

An imperfect compromise: IOC mostly gets it right

When history writes the story of the drama that enveloped the question of what to do about the Russians for the 2016 Rio Games, the imperfect compromise issued Sunday by the International Olympic Committee will come to be seen for what it truly is: a marker for the ongoing vitality and relevance of the Olympic movement in every corner of the world.

Make no mistake. The IOC made — mostly — the right call in seeking to balance individual rights against collective responsibility.

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.

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IOC

The Olympics as canary in coal mine

If English is not your first language, or you have forgotten or never learned about the dangers inherent in mining, or you have (inexplicably) little to no regard for “Zenyatta Mondatta,” the classic 1980 album from The Police, herewith an appreciation of the phrase “canary in a coal mine.”

And why, like the canary, the Olympic movement is an eerily prescient predictor of change buffeting our uncertain, if not broken, world — the kind of change that produced Brexit, the vote Thursday that will now lead to the United Kingdom’s self-inflicted divorce from the European Union.

Sharapova on May 24 in Chicago at the 'Sugarpova' chocolate launch // Getty Images

Sharapova on May 24 in Chicago at the 'Sugarpova' chocolate launch // Getty Images

Doping

Maria Sharapova, common sense and “intent”

It verges on the comical to read Maria Sharapova’s indignant assertion, after she was tagged by an anti-doping panel Wednesday for two years for meldonium, that the decision is, in her words, “unfairly harsh,” and that she intends to appeal to sport’s top tribunal, the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Have at it. Indeed, it’s way more likely that the relevant authorities are going to want to appeal because, in a passage that surprisingly has drawn little attention in the avalanche of stories about Wednesday’s decision, the ruling threatens to blow a barn door-sized hole in the rules as they not only were meant to be but have to be in order to have any chance at working.

Aries Merritt showing off his kidney transplant scar at a pre-Pre news conference

Aries Merritt showing off his kidney transplant scar at a pre-Pre news conference

2024 Bid Cities, Sochi 2014, Tokyo 2020, Track and field

The incredible Aries Merritt, and more

A dozen musings on track and field, on the 2024 Summer Games bid race and more:

1. At a news conference Friday in Eugene, Oregon, before Saturday’s line-up of events at the 42nd annual Prefontaine Classic, the question went out to Aries Merritt, the 2012 London men’s 110-meter hurdles champion who is also the world record-holder, 12.8 seconds, in the event: on a scale of one to 10, where did he fall?