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The Power Vertical: What Doping Says About The Putin Regime (Transcript)

  • Brian Whitmore

Sports, as they say, is often a metaphor for life.

And in Vladimir Putin's Russia, doping is a metaphor for politics.

Just as Russia's sports machine pumps out doped-up athletes to score Olympic gold, the Kremlin's media machine pumps out waves of propaganda to dope up the population into a patriotic and xenophobic fever.

Vladimir Putin's 80-plus percent approval ratings, in this sense, are the political equivalent of a chemically enhanced gold-medal winner in Sochi.

And if sports are a metaphor for life, in Putin's Russia cheating in sports is a metaphor for foreign affairs.

Just as Russian athletes achieved Olympic glory by flagrantly breaking the rules of international sports, Russia has revived its great power status by flagrantly violating international law.

In this sense, it is appropriate that the Sochi Olympics and the annexation of Crimea took place just weeks apart.

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Putin clearly doesn't like rules, whether they be in politics, foreign affairs, or sports.

In his world, rules are for pansies and sissies.

He wants to win at all costs and is prepared to fight dirty to do so.

Which means the latest bombshell revelations about the massive Russian doping that took place at the Sochi Olympics are about more than just sports.

They're about more than the Kremlin cheating to win some gold medals.

They're a metaphor for this entire regime's worldview.

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