Aussies caught in wild Tokyo Olympics conspiracy
If gold medals were awarded for the wackiest conspiracy theories, Russian gymnast Svetlana Khorkina would be standing at the top of the podium right now.
Khorkina - who won a gold medal in the uneven bars at the 2000 Sydney Olympics - reckons she knows the real reason the Tokyo Games were postponed for a year.
And it's got nothing to do with the deadly coronavirus pandemic that's shut down the entire world and ground sports to a halt.
According to Khorkina, it's God's punishment to the sporting officials who have banned Russian athletes from competing because of the country's appalling record of doping.
"I think this all happened because they shouldn't have offended Russia, including our athletes," she told Sport Express.
"There is a reason why there is a line in our national anthem that says our land is protected by the Lord."
As things currently stand, Russia is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from competing at major international events for the next four years for manipulating test results and laboratory data.
Russia operatives have also been accused of trying to steal private medical information about Australian athletes as part of a range of dirty tricks to try and discredit other nations while shifting the focus away from their country's blatant cheating.
Individual Russians will still be allowed to compete as long as they can prove they are clean but any medals they win won't be credited to their nation and the flag won't be flown at ceremonies.
And that, says Khorkina, is why Tokyo has been delayed for another year.
"It was unnecessary to start this political show when such a deadly virus is being spread all over the world," she said. "I think this was God's punishment."
Originally published as Aussies caught in wild Tokyo Olympics conspiracy