The Rodchenkov Act Brings Russiagate Into the Sports Realm
Trump’s recent signing of the so-called Rodchenkov Act enabling the US to prosecute foreign athletes accused of doping amounts to the internationalization of the Russiagate conspiracy theory blaming the Eurasian Great Power for everything that goes wrong in the world.
Trump’s recent signing of the so-called Rodchenkov Act enabling the US to prosecute foreign athletes accused of doping elicited a strong reaction from Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova. She had the following to say about this development as quoted by TASS:
“’How can they explain that being the leaders, which they have been trumpeting around the world of, they have no wins in their traditional sports disciplines? This fact should be explained somehow. And it can be quite easily explained: they dwell about awful Russia, about global conspiracy, doping networks enmeshing everyone. This act, as a matter of fact, has exposed their real interests,’ she said in an interview with the Fetison program on the Zvezda television channel.
Why has this problem emerged? I think because the United States has got accustomed in the recent decades to dominate in many spheres. Sport is an image of a country. Sport is the quintessence of achievements in a number of spheres. And they cannot admit that they can no longer compete under common rules. It runs counter to their internal ideology,” she said, adding that the United States obviously hates to “recognize its defeat or failure.
‘This is how it all works with them. So, they simply either withdraw from the existing rules and norms, or rewrite them as they like, or invent another virtual reality and compel the others accept it as a real one,’ Zakharova noted.
In other words, the Russiagate conspiracy theory has now gone global and entered the international sports realm, thus blaming the Eurasian Great Power for everything that goes wrong in the world. It’s also a convenient ideological scapegoat for America to rely on whenever it loses in sports.
Zakharova hit the nail on the head by implying the the powerful influence that the ideology of American Exceptionalism exerts over everything. The US simply cannot accept that it’s now longer the world’s unipolar superpower even though it arguably remains the “first among equals” in the emerging Multipolar World Order.
What’s most ironic about all of this is that Trump entered the presidency defending himself against the Democrats’ Russiagate conspiracy theory but now might end up exiting it by promoting the exact same virtual reality, albeit on a global level by spreading it throughout the sports realm.
Sports are indeed an important part of national prestige and soft power so it’s understandable why the issue is emotive for all. There’s also no doubt that some doping problems veritably exist, but resorting to self-assumed extraterritorial judicial means to resolve them is the wrong approach to take because of the likelihood of abuse.
The US has a long track record proving its predisposition to “lawfare” in pursuit of what it regards as its national interests so there’s no reason for anyone to believe that it won’t apply the same tactics in the sports ream too. Accusing some of its top competitors of doping then threatening to prosecute them isn’t sportsmanlike.
America’s always been a sore loser, though, which explains why it’s resorting to such means since it hates to “recognize its defeat or failure” like Zakharova noted. Reality contradicts its ideology of American Exceptionalism, hence why America then tries to distort reality in order to preserve its ideology.
As Americans are increasingly at each other’s necks over racial, political, and other issues, one of the few things that can temporarily bring them together is sports nationalism, which is a bipartisan issue. It’s therefore important for the US to ensure that its top sports competitors are disqualified ahead of future competitions.
The Rodchenkov Act is thus nothing more than a cover for manipulating international sporting events the same as its anti-Chinese sanctions play a similar role vis-a-vis the international economy. In both instances, the US is resorting to extraterritorial judicial means in a desperate bid to rig the rules to preserve its fading dominance.
The spirit of Russiagate has succeeded in taking control of the American political establishment and is nowadays wrongly taken for granted as a characteristic of international politics. It conveniently explains all of America’s failings by presenting Russia as the scapegoat, though China’s increasingly being blamed as well.
Either way, the US simply cannot accept responsibility whenever it doesn’t come out on top, be it in international sporting events or the international economy. Someone else always has to be blamed otherwise the ideology of American Exceptionalism would lose its luster and be exposed as an instrument of control.