By Irene Gaitirira
Published August 5, 2016
The 2016 Olympic Games open in Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, on August 5, 2016.
The games, being held in South America for the first time and in which 10500 athletes from 206 countries are set to compete in 28 disciplines, are overshadowed by the threat of mosquito-spread Zika virus, socio-political instability in Brazil, and use of illegal performance enhancement substances (doping) scandal that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has failed to rule on.
Also participating is a team of refugees–two Congolese from Congo-Kinshasa, an Ethiopian, five South Sudanese,and two Syrians–competing under the Olympic flag and bringing the number of competing ‘countries’ to 207.
Kenya, that was on August 4, 2016 removed from World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s list of Doping Non-Compliance, is set to compete in Weight Lifting, 7-Aside Rugby (men and women), Swimming, Judo, Archery, Boxing, and track and field events at the August 4-21, 2016 Olympic Games whose opening ceremony shall be watched by an estimated three billion people around the world.
Oh, Russia–that was accused of state-sponsored doping and whose track and field athletes have been barred–shall have 271 athletes participating in the games in Brazil. The 271 were cleared by IOC from a list of 389 on August 4, 2016, just in time for the official opening ceremony of the games. WADA had recommended a blanket ban of all Russians.