The Olympic movement is a force for good, but it can also be a lot better

There are many lessons arising from the Winter Olympics in South Korea. One is that the Olympic movement still has the potential to unite and inspire people, in the spirit of competition and peace. Who knows whether the cooperation shown between North and South Korea will persist, but at least it survived for a few months before and during the games.

Another lesson is that there will always be people and countries that are willing to do anything to win. And the consequences suffered by Russia for its state-sponsored doping program were not enough to dissuade future cheating. Russia was still able to send a huge number of athletes and compete in and win events including men’s hockey. The distinction that they were Olympic athletes from Russia instead of Russian athletes was too small to matter.

Russia should have been completely banned from these Olympics instead of allowed to charge ahead with different labelling. Despite years of corruption, the Olympic Games can still be a force for good in our world. But a lot more must be done to discourage and punish doping in the future.

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