Watch the 2016 Olympics live on UK TV this month
It only seems like yesterday that the curtain came down on the 2012 Olympics in London yet, here we are now preparing for yet another games, this time in the South American land of the Samba in Brazil.
Sadly, before the games have even began, it appears they won’t be getting started at all for many. With the Zika virus outbreak filling the front pages over the past few months, many sportsmen and women have decided not to attend the games for fear of the potential health risks going to Brazil presents.
For starters, it seems like half the field in the golf profession have decided to stay put due to the clear and present risk of being bitten by mosquitos in the wet and exposed conditions of the golf courses. Fans of the sport will be desperately disappointed to learn that names such as Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Graeme McDowell and even Rory McIlroy will not be attending this time around. It’s a huge blow to the organisers.
In other news, many tennis players are also considering their positions with many of the sports top players including Milos Raonic, Dominic Thiem, John Isner and Feliciano Lopez all electing to play elsewhere instead of the games.
Whoever does go knows a weakened field means a better chance of a medal.
Russia are in hot water over a major doping scandal
To add insult to injury, it now appears clear that the Russian team are about to get thrown out of the games, making the entire spectacle seem like a farce before the opening ceremony has even began!
After an in-depth investigation, it has come to light that a state sponsored doping programme was in operation during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, revealing a systematic programme of cheating right across the board. Very sad indeed.
No decision has been made as yet but it would be a huge surprise if after consulting lawyers that Russia are barred from attending the games in any way shape or form.
Will this be a clean Olympic games?
Assuming Russia do not attend, we have to look on the positive side and see that this could represent a fairer and cleaner Olympic games. With such systematic doping being exposed, it would take an extremely lucky or calculated individual to get away with such an approach in Rio.
What this means now is that clean, honest athletes can now go out there and compete, knowing that whoever wins in their respective sport is more than likely a deserved winner. No more “what ifs” of the past when past gold medalists were found to be cheats and later stripped of their medal, denying the others their moment in the limelight.
So let’s look forward to a great spectacle of sport and hope that the hysteria over the Zika outbreak is overblown and the sports is just as inspiring and captivating as it was in London.
You can catch the entire Olympic games 2016 in Rio from Friday, August 5 until Sunday, August 21 on the BBC.