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  • Writer's pictureBlaise Stanicic

The 2024 Olympic Games: Top Athletes Proudly Compete, While Misinformation Seeks to Breed Deceit

Olympic Sign in Grass Field

It is an exciting time for the world of sports. As the UEFA European Championships of Soccer kicks off, famous footballers take the stage to compete on behalf of their respective countries, while avid sports fans from all over the world anxiously await the Opening Ceremonies for the Summer Olympics in Paris next month.

Still, amidst all this excitement there remains a concern regarding Russian athletes. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has raised skepticism over Russia's anti-doping practices in the past, causing concern of fair competition. But more recently, given current geopolitical issues, namely the war in Ukraine, Russian competitors will be at the Games as “neutral” athletes, banned from competing under the Russian flag.

Additionally, in recent months, there have been several stories released about threats of violence at the Paris Games, concern over the validity of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and overall distrust of the Western world and its institutions.

All of these stories appear to have one thing in common: they were developed and disseminated by Russian actors who are attempting to sow discord at the Olympics as a means to punish those involved with banning Russia from the competition.

A group dubbed “Storm 1679” has created a fake Netflix documentary, Olympics Has Fallen, using AI tools to mimic the voice of actor Tom Cruise and creating fake 5-star reviews to besmirch the members of the IOC, and the overall integrity of the Olympics.

It seems when Russia is unable to compete in the Olympics, it turns to degrading the games in an attempt to sour the event. When we reflect on the 1984 Summer Games, the Soviet Union boycotted the games and asked other countries to do the same, again in an attempt to discredit the competition.

The message, however, remains clear: if Russia cannot be seen as a world leader, then the institutions making that claim (or any claim against Russia for that matter!) must be weakened. And while this is a typical message from Russia —where dissidents are jailed, and even killed—with new technology, like AI and “deepfakes," it is becoming increasingly difficult to see what is information, and disinformation.

Nevertheless, we cannot allow the bad actions of one to degrade the hard work of many. The world looks forward to the healthy competition— seeing in action the best of their nation competing on the world’s stage. As global citizens we must remain ever vigilant. For many, sports are the purest form of competition. Current events remain an unfortunate reminder that even sports at the global level can breed political mistrust and corruption if not monitored and regulated appropriately.

“Citius, Altius, Fortius – Communiter” and “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together”

Blaise Stanicic

Associate Director, Compliance Training, TRACE



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