Report: Olympic ban “a conspiracy”, says Russian media

07.12.17 | News
Johannes Jansson/
A study conducted by the Nordic Journalist Centre (NJC) and funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers shows that the Russian media generally describe the expulsion of Russian athletes from the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics as “international conspiracy” or a “story blown out of proportion” in order to punish Russia.

The report “Truth vs Truth” shows that independent research regarding the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to ban Russian athletes from the games because of doping is hard to come by in the Russian media. Quotes from international experts in support of the IOC’s decision are equally rare.

A few independent Russian media outlets do publish detailed background articles on the hows and whys surrounding the decision, but contain no commentary in favour of the decision and nor do they call for the punishment or incrimination of Russian officials.

Ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the IOC banned 279 (of 389) Russian athletes from taking part in the games. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) decided to implement a blanket ban on Russian athletes at the subsequent Paralympic games.

Highly topical report

The report “Truth vs Truth” has been funded through the Nordic Council of Ministers’ project “Nordic – Northwest Russian Journalist Co-operation 2016-17”. It is a collaborative project exploring how Russian-language media in Northwest Russia, the Baltic countries, and the Nordic countries reported on the doping scandal that erupted ahead of the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.

The report is based entirely on articles published online by the media outlets in the study.

This study is now highly topical in light of the IOC’s recent decision to ban Russian athletes from the winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

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