There was a time when the Olympic Movement was viewed as an almost perfect reflection of a shining ideal: a global commons and a global common good. But the International Olympic Committee’s stunning fall from grace is hardly unique: governments of all types are held in low esteem nowadays. Lucy Marcus of IE Business School gets straight to the point: “Thanks to the IOC,” she says, the Olympics now “embodies some of the most prominent problems the world is facing today, from inequality to exploitation to sheer hypocrisy among our leaders.” The IOC disregards the athletes’ interests, to the point that it permitted the Russian team to compete in Rio de Janeiro, despite recent revelations about Russia’s official doping program and the World Anti-Doping Agency’s recommendation that the team be banned. Likewise, it is “indifferent to how host cities and countries” fare, particularly the vast debts that pile up in hosting the Games.
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