Socialist Party
| Print

18 November 2015

Athletics doping scandal: big business profits behind global sports corruption

Simon Carter

In a dramatic move, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF - the world's governing sports body) has provisionally suspended the Russian athletics federation. This follows a damning report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) accusing the Russians of "state-sponsored doping".

The report claims to have evidence of "direct intimidation and interference by the Russian state with the Moscow laboratory operations". The Russian anti-doping federation "gave athletes advance notice of tests, hid missed tests, bullied doping control officers and their families and took bribes".

As Daley Thompson, the former Olympic gold medallist, remarked: "This to my mind is a ten or eleven on the Lance Armstrong scale [the disgraced cyclist]. This is much worse than what [ex-Fifa president] Sepp Blatter has been doing."

But the IAAF, headed since August by former Tory MP Lord Coe, hardly emerges smelling of roses. The report described it as being "inexplicably lax in following up suspicious blood profiles". The Wada report also claims to have evidence of multiple rule breaches by IAAF officials.

Coe has remained tight-lipped about these claims. He is tied to big business and its domination of world sports. The peer made millions via his consultancy company at the 2012 London Olympics, and had been receiving six-figure sponsorship from sports giant Nike.

With billions of dollars involved in sponsorship and advertising, officials taking kickbacks - and a hunger to succeed at all costs by athletes - go hand in hand. The International Olympic Committee has a history of officials mired in corruption, as has its football counterpart Fifa, and cycling body UCI.


But while officials and top athletes cream in the cash, lesser-known athletes financially struggle. And working class supporters are fleeced by expensive tickets and pay-to-view TV subscriptions.

Investment in grassroots sports - in Britain, a promised legacy of the 2012 Olympics - has suffered from government austerity cuts. Fewer young people are involved than before. Meanwhile, school sports grounds are sold off by cash-strapped local authorities.

The problem of corruption at the heart of world sport is capitalism, and the prestige and profit sport confers. Reclaiming the games for the public good is long overdue.

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube


triangle11 Sep Lobby of TUC: Upbeat meeting calls for trade union lead to boot out...

triangle11 Sep Fighting PCS general secretary needed - Marion Lloyd: Why I am...

Socialist Party members march to say Tories out! photo Mathan Nathan, photo Mathan Nathan

triangle11 Sep Tories in tatters: Corbyn must seize the time

triangle4 Sep Marches, blockades, strikes, occupations... How can protests win?

triangle4 Sep Hong Kong protests: No let-up in trial of strength

triangle4 Sep Name the day for a mass demo to get rid of Tories and elect a Corbyn...

triangle4 Sep 20 September climate action day: Strike to save the planet!

More ...


triangle18 Sep Cardiff West Socialist Party: Kick out the Tories - Corbyn to power on a socialist programme

triangle18 Sep York Socialist Party: What is Socialism?

triangle18 Sep Leicester Socialist Party: Brexit chaos while austerity bites

triangle19 Sep Cardiff East Socialist Party: Northern Ireland - for workers' unity against sectarianism


Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551


What we Stand For

About the Socialist Party

Joining the Socialist Party - what will it mean for you


Alphabetical listing

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019