With the 2018 winter Olympic games just around the corner, excitement is in the air as athletes prepare to compete on a global level. However, this year appears to be different when getting excited about watching some of the best athletes perform, because there is so much controversy following the scandal with Russia and its systematic doping of its athletes.

Doping is the term used to define the act of giving/taking drugs to enhance athletic performance, which is illegal in the world of sports. Accounts of athletes using dope to enhance a performance is nothing new, but this time it has been discovered that Russia has been systematically doping its athletes in preparation for the winter Olympics.

Upon this discovery, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has ban Russia from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics, but has allowed athletes from Russia to apply independently from their country in order to compete. The IOC has been reprimanded by some following this decision saying they are being unfair to non-doping athletes that will be competing while others project political hatred towards Russia via their athletes.

Athleticism is unbiased and unaffiliated with politics and nationality and should remain that way, as they always have. As a fanatic Olympic fan and former athlete, there is nothing more defeating than having your hard work wasted or seeing other athletes unfairly treated and misrepresented.

Although Russia should not be allowed to compete in the Olympics due to their doping of athletes that does not mean all Russian athletes used or are using dope to enhance their performance. The IOC made the right decision giving Russian athletes the ability to apply for admittance as an independent from Russia to compete alongside the other top athletes.

If an athlete is found clean and legal by the IOC, there is no reason they should not be allowed to compete due to their country’s inability to appropriately train athletes. Although there is fear around the possibility of the admittance of a doping athlete, both athletes and global citizens must trust the process of screening those athletes and hope for a fair competition.

Trust those on the IOC to make fair and just decision on the admittance or denial of Russian athletes who are choosing to compete independently and prepare for the joy the Olympics bring. The Olympics is a global platform that allows the best of us to compete and preform alongside each other without politics, nationality, or any other divisive attributes getting in the way. This level of precision found in athletes speaks for itself and we should all let the experts do their jobs as we spectate and encourage all athletes.