Russian Banned, Chinese Tech

Grind for December 16th
“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.”

– Peter Marshall

Staying Strong

The Headline

Russia banned from 2020 Olympics

The Grind

There will be no Russian flags or anthems at the 2020 Olympics, the 2022 World Cup, or any major sporting events for the next four years, announced the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Monday.

Russian athletes who can prove they are clear of drugs will be allowed to participate under a neutral flag.

“It is obvious that significant doping problems still exist in Russia, I mean our sporting community,” said Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

“But on the other hand, the fact that all these decisions are repeated, often affecting athletes who have already been punished in one way or another, not to mention some other points – of course this makes one think that this is part of anti-Russian hysteria which has become chronic.”

The Background

Russia was banned from the 2016 Rio Olympics and 2018 PyeongChang Olympics after its athletes were found to have used illegal substances during the 2014 Sochi Olympics (resulting in 13 gold medals).

This year, Russia’s anti-doping agency was caught manipulating lab data submitted to WADA as a condition of Russia’s reinstatement in 2018.

The subversion was brought to light by whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, who fled to the United States after exposing “fraud, lies, and falsifications of unspeakable proportions.”

WADA’s decision to ban Russia represents the agency’s “determination to act resolutely in the face of the Russian doping crisis,” says the agency’s president, Sir Craig Reedie.

“Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and rejoin the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial.”

Moscow has 21 days to appeal WADA’s decision. If it does, the case will move to the Court of Arbitration of Sport.


The Headline

Chinese government to stop using foreign hardware, software

The Grind

The Chinese Government has ordered all government offices and public institutions to stop using foreign-made hardware and software within three years (a decision that will require the replacement of up to 30 million pieces of equipment).

The order is not public, but was described to American reporters by employees from cybersecurity firms who heard about it from clients.

The directive, which comes as President Trump ramps up efforts to keep Chinese tech companies out of the US market, is expected to affect Dell, Microsoft, and HP.

The Details

China’s decision is one of the most direct moves against American tech firms since the start of the trade war and is seen as part of a broader effort to reduce Beijing’s reliance on foreign tech.

The policy’s impact on trade negotiations will depend on how Washington reacts to China’s decision.

“Discrimination against foreign tech has been a part of the policy framework in China for years now,” explains Nick Marro, global trade lead at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

“This might nevertheless complicate the discussions around Huawei, ZTE, and other companies in terms of their access to the US market. Much of the popular narrative has centered around the US unfairly banning these Chinese companies from its market; at least with this story, the administration can publicly play the blame game of, ‘well, China’s doing it too, and they’ve been doing it for a long time.'”

American companies like Facebook and Google have been banned from China for years.

Did you know… In the United States, deaf people have safer driving records than hearing people!