Justice at last for Tallent in face of Russian cheats
IT’S A WRAP
With Phil Dillon
IT SEEMS that Russia believes the whole world, particularly the sporting world, is against it.
After Russian supporters attacked England fans at Euro 2016 in Marseilles, the French ambassador in Moscow was called in by the Russian Foreign Ministry amid complaints about the arrest of Russian fans.
The ambassador was reportedly told Russian supporters were provoked and warned against “discrimination” and the “fanning of anti-Russian sentiment”.
Presumably the Russians also feel their athletes have been hard done by and will react similarly if the International Athletics Federation throws the country’s track and field team out of the Rio Olympics, with a decision set to be made overnight.
Most feel, as we do at Australian Regional Media, that Russian athletes should not be allowed anywhere near Brazil, especially after the WADA report this week that said more than 736 tests between February 15 and May 29 were declined or cancelled for a variety of reasons, ranging from sample collection or athlete whereabouts.
Jared Tallent feels that way too after he was cheated by Russian Sergey Kirdyapkin for the gold medal at the London Olympics.
The Aussie walker finally got his gold yesterday but it is a travesty that he had to wait 1405 days after the event to receive it.
Justice was finally seen to be done as the 31-year-old, who has fought a long battle to get what he deserves, was presented with his medal on Melbourne’s Treasury Steps.
Following IOC protocol, Tallent, who finished second in 2012 before his elevation to gold, was presented with the medal, and the national anthem sung as the Australian flag was raised.
But you can’t help thinking that Tallent was robbed of his moment of glory by not getting the correct medal in the first place.
“When I was a kid growing up in Ballarat, I was always inspired by the Olympic Games,” Tallent said yesterday.
“To be able to go to the Olympics and win a gold medal is beyond my wildest dreams.
“And to get the gold medal here, so close, and the first one awarded in Melbourne since the 1956 Games, makes it so special.
“I just want to celebrate today. Let’s enjoy the moment. We now move to eighth on the medal tally in London.”
Australia Olympic Committee president John Coates presented the medal on behalf of the International Olympic Commitee and said: “Presenting an Olympic medal is always an honour, but more so on this occasion to be part of rectifying, in some way, the massive injustice perpetrated on Jared by a doping cheat and aided by a Russian Anti-Doping Agency and Russian Athletics Federation that were rotten to the core.”
Let’s just hope that the IAAF does the right thing and kicks Russian athletes out of the Games.
Maybe then they will clean up their act. But on past evidence it seems unlikely.
On the nose
AREN’T we lucky the Euro 2016 footage of Germany coach Joachim Low was not scratch and sniff. Low was seen putting his hands down his crotch and his backside when his team was taking on Ukraine in its first group game in France. Low apologised for his trouser antics, saying: “I saw the pictures as well and obviously sometimes you do things subconsciously. It happened and I am sorry. It was adrenaline and concentration. I will try to behave differently in the future.” That’s all very well but there are some things you can’t unsee. The people at ARM feel sorry for the ones Mr Low shook hands with after the game.
Rack off Ronaldo
TALK about a poor loser. Cristiano Ronaldo took it to a new level after his fancied Portugal team only drew with Iceland in its first group game at Euro 2016. Ronaldo, who, as most would know, loves to have everyone talk about him, was put in his place when he had a go at Iceland’s tactics following the 1-1 result. Iceland defender Kari Arnason, who shackled the Real Madrid superstar for most of the game, said Ronaldo was not a “gracious human being”, adding: “Obviously we’re not going to create as much chances as a fantastic team like Portugal but His comments are the reason why (Lionel) Messi is always going to be one step ahead of him. You wouldn’t expect Messi to say that. It shows we got under his skin. It was lovely to hear that.”
WHOEVER is in charge of marketing at Adidas needs to have a good hard look at themselves. A week after spelling the name of the country Colombia wrong on a poster promoting the Copa America, the sporting wear giant went a little early in handing the NBA championship, of which Adidas is the official apparel sponsor, to the Golden State Warriors. With the Warriors leading the series 3-1, a promotion on Adidas’ mobile home page featured a picture of the NBA championship trophy along with the words “Golden State Warriors 2016 NBA Champions”. Whoops.