Russia Needs To Stay Clean To Avoid 2018 Winter Olympics Ban

Russia Needs To Stay Clean To Avoid 2018 Winter Olympics Ban

The country likely to receive ban from the 2018 Winter Olympics over uncovered doping program.
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The Russian doping scandal in the Olympic Games has been a major focal point of the upcoming 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang.

More information has been brought into light as the Russian drug-testing facility responsible for testing their athletes that compete in the winter games has been declared by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), as “non-compliant." The implications of the scale of this scandal are extremely detrimental to Russia’s stance within the Olympic competition. Forfeiture of medals can be forced on them if any athlete, in any event, is suspected of doping, and the accusations and suspicions will only increase as Russia fights against WADA and other Olympic committees.

Currently, Russia is awaiting a possible suspension from participating in all activities in the 2018 Olympics.

This “death penalty” is not unheard of but is certainly rare, with most suspensions being incurred in the 20th century on countries who allied with Germany in the world wars. Russia has seen its fair share of doping scandal, with the 1980 Olympic Games being held in Moscow being renowned for a majority of medalists being suspected of doping. Recently Russia has been in hot water after earlier this month, Russian Olympic athletes admitted to using banned substances given to them by Grigory Rodchenkov. Rodchenkov was the lead scientist who headed Russia’s primary anti-doping laboratory from 2005 to 2015.

Russia’s doping violation has also had repercussions in other venues. FIFA has notified Russia that failing to adhere to the drug-testing process set forth by the Olympic committee could also result in a suspension given by FIFA preventing them from participating in the World Cup. If Russia would receive the suspension, they would probably attempt to “boycott” the Olympics to make it appear that they don’t respect the decision of a ban. The effectiveness of this however would be a matter of opinion in terms of who backs down first, because the ban if given, would still be in effect preventing Russia from competing.

Russia is expecting a ruling on the fate of their 2018 Olympic run on December 5th.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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No, Helicopter High Schools, Not Every Cheerleader Should Make The Team

We can't keep babying this generation.
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If you haven't heard about it already, a high school in New Jersey made a rule that states every girl that tries out for the high school cheerleading squad has to make the team. If this doesn't scream spoiled with participation trophy at the end of it, then I don't know what does.

This new regulation was put in place after a mother of a girl that didn't make the cheerleading squad complained to the school.

Many young women who put in the hard work were clearly upset about this order. What they had to say made complete sense, but it didn't make a difference to the mother that so badly wanted her daughter to be a cheerleader.

One of the fellow cheerleaders said, "I did not put in 18 months of work to lead up to this moment just to be told that it didn't matter anymore." Another expressed, "It is unfair to me and every cheerleader who earned their spots to change the rules after tryouts are over." Although these statements are clear enough, one young woman was especially upset. As well as the other cheerleaders, she went up in front of the school board in tears and said "I've tried my hardest-- and everything's going away because of one child who did not make the team and their parent complained. So now all my hard work has been thrown out the window."

Cheerleading on top of other sports takes demanding hours not only physically but mentally and academically. In order to be a top athlete on any team, you must do what is expected of you and more. These young women have more than likely spent most of their childhood and the beginning of their adulthood training for this sport, why would someone want to take that feeling of success away from them? I'll tell you why.

Nowadays, if someone isn't treated equally (even if they don't have the talent, technique, or expertise) the world and media breaks down into shambles and turns into a soup sandwich. Teams, corporations, and groups have been destroyed in recent years because someone who did not get their way wants to complain, although they aren't qualified.

For any other sport, there are only so many spots for people to play on the team. If too many kids are allotted a spot on the team, then some children will have to sit the bench. This alone causes crisis within the team because players get upset when they aren't getting playing time and this all falls back on the coach.

Playing sports builds character, dedication, integrity and other great traits. The reason these characteristics are obtained is due to the time that young athletes put in. If they don't have to make sacrifices and devote their time then these features will never be developed. Aside from winning and the feeling of success and triumphant teamwork, establishing these qualities and reaching for excellence is the reason why children choose to play sports.

Athletes work hard to earn spots, be mentioned in the newspaper, win awards, and get recognition for all of the outstanding things that they do. These things shouldn't be given to people that don't work for them.

Participation trophies shouldn't be handed out like candy, parents need to stop babying their kids, and mom's and dad's need to prepare their children for the real world. If we let this ongoing trend keep multiplying within households before you know it everyone is going to feel like they are entitled to everything... as if they don't act that way already.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Mullins

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Why Alabama Is No 'Sweet Home' To Professional Sports Teams

Will the NFL, MLB, NHL, etc. ever contemplate branching out into the deep south of Alabama to expand their programs?
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Going to the top college football school in the country, having pro teams within the state of Alabama wouldn't normally be a worry on most people's radar. Some sports fanatics, on the other hand, myself included, have always questioned why Birmingham, the largest city in Alabama, has never even been considered in receiving major league sports teams.

Therefore, why has it never been proposed? Will the NFL, MLB, NHL, etc. ever contemplate branching out into the deep south of Alabama to expand their programs?

First thing’s first, are these major league teams actually necessary? With Alabama and Auburn being two of the top-ranked football schools consistently, locals have always been content with making the hike to Tuscaloosa or Auburn to watch a football game and let the rivalry continue to fester between the two SEC schools. Meeting Alabama fans or people who have lived here their whole lives, don’t really mind the issue and only really watch the NFL when they want to see the boys they have been watching over the years get drafted and see their progress.

On the contrary, when I wanted to go watch an NFL game this year, the closest games to Tuscaloosa are either in Atlanta to see the Falcons, which is 3 hours, or New Orleans to see the Saints, 4.5 hours. Needless to say, I’m sure it’s a pain for those football junkies who want to do the same. Another issue is, we can’t forget about the other sports besides football.

While down south, especially in Title-town, the only sport that matters is football, I’m sure there are some people who would love to watch Stephen Curry or Bryce Harper play in a live game, rather than having to settle for their TV screens all the time; but don’t get me wrong, we live and breathe college football.

There are pros and cons either way but there is a single factor that truly answers our question. Alabama doesn’t have the money. On one hand we’re not Mississippi, where they have a quality college team (Rebels fans would say otherwise…Roll Tide), pro teams, a large city, or the economic chutzpah; but the state and any of the cities Birmingham, Montgomery or Mobile don’t have the funds to sponsor a team or the facilities to host others.

Currently, Alabama is the most populated state that doesn’t house any pro teams, therefore if fans cross their fingers enough, we may be next in line, yet it’s not looking good. All the surrounding cities teams such as the Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Hornets, etc. don’t have high attendance for the games. If this continues, it’s very unlikely Alabama will receive a pro team in the near future.

If people are just aching to get out of collegiate sports, which is not likely when you have the national champions in your backyard, there are the minor league and premier teams around the state, including the Birmingham Barons baseball, Birmingham Bull ice hockey, or AFC Mobile soccer.

Whether sports fans look at it as a good thing, or bad thing there is always room open for discussion, and I’m surprised ESPN or other sports talk shows have not picked up this topic for debate recently. It’s interesting to see people’s views on the matter, yet there is one thing that reigns true and is long lasting in the future, and that’s Nick Saban and Alabama football.

So for now, fans, put a smile on your face, stick to college sports, and keep screaming Roll Tide.

Cover Image Credit: Larry Miller / Flickr

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