Rob Minto

Sport, data, ideas

Month: August 2016

Sport Geek #50: the two Olympics

There are two Olympics. Not summer and winter. These are the two that exist in your head.

One is a corrupt pile, a shower, a farce of epic proportions. A world of grand bribery, pointless expenditure by countries racked with poverty, of doping cover-ups. The other is a beautiful world of sporting purity, of heroic acts, of minority athletes given their moment in the world spotlight.

These worlds don’t cross over much. They rarely coexist, in fact, as the outrage gives way to optimism at the first sight of opening ceremony fireworks.

But this Games is different. Rio has got dirty in the pool, and I’m not talking about the mysterious green water. Golf is a joke. Let’s just hope that Gatlin doesn’t win the 100m.

Meanwhile, here’s your August reading: Continue reading

Sport Geek #49: a colossal waste of drugs

July 31, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


The one thing you need to read before the Olympics (Nick Harris).

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was aware Russia ran a state-sponsored doping programme in which the head of that nation’s WADA-accredited lab was a central figure as long ago as the first week of July 2013.
I know this because I told them.
… This is not an opinion piece. This is the story behind the story

But, assuming you have a little more time…

We all have wonderful memories of London 2012, but was it a gigantic waste of time and money? The Guardian’s Richard Williams puts the case.

How to fix the doping problem: extend the blame beyond athletes, argues Silvia Camporesi in Aeon.

You’ll still watch it though, won’t you? But why? Simon Kuper in the FT (free to read) examines our fascination. Continue reading

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