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Russia has been banned from international sport for the next 4 years. They have been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), this is the second ban Russia has received since 2015. The ban means that Russia will not be able to compete in the 2020 Olympics or the 2022 World Cup.

Russia has not been able to compete in athletics since being banned for the first time in 2015. Russia was originally banned after being caught cheating at the 2014 Winter Olympics, which was hosted in Russia. Wada found that the Russian government had been helping their athletes to cheat by using banned drugs. The government then hid the evidence from Wada. Some Russian athletes who can prove that they haven’t used banned substances will be able to go to the 2020 Olympics. However, they will not be allowed to compete for Russia.

The vice-president of Wada has complained that the 4-year ban is not enough. She said she wants stronger punishments in order to protect athletes who have not cheated. Some people worry that not having strong enough punishments will cause other athletes to think they can cheat too.

Difficult Words

World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada): A group that makes sure athletes don’t use drugs.

Athletics (n): Sports.

Cheating (v): To try to win in a dishonest way.

Evidence (n): Things that prove something is true.

Substance (n): A material.

Punishment (n): Bad treatment for doing a bad action.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English: Coming Soon!

American English: 

Match the Synonym!

 1. Athletics  A. Proof
 2. Cheating  B. Material
 3. Evidence  C. Sports
 4. Substance  D. Bad treatment.
 5. Punishment  E. Dishonesty

True or False?

1. Russia has been banned from playing in the Olympics. T / F

2. No Russain athletes can play in the Olympics. T / F

3. This is the first time Russia has been banned. T / F

4. The vice president of Wada does not agree with the punishment. T / F

5. Nobody is worried other athletes will cheat in the future. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. international / has / been / Russia / from / sport / banned

2. able / will not / to compete / The ban / means / Russia / be / that

3. originally banned / being / caught cheating / Russia / after / was

4. the / then / government / The / hid / evidence

5. Wada / of / has / complained / The / vice-president

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English: Coming Soon!

American English: 

Compete Cheat International
Complained Originally Athletes

Russia has been banned from (1)_______________ sport for the next 4 years. They have been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), this is the second ban Russia has received since 2015. The ban means that Russia will not be able to (2)____________ in the 2020 Olympics or the 2022 World Cup.

Russia has not been able to compete in athletics since being banned for the first time in 2015. Russia was (3)________________ banned after being caught cheating at the 2014 Winter Olympics, which was hosted in Russia. Wada found that the Russian government had been helping their athletes to cheat by using banned drugs. The government then hid the evidence from Wada. Some Russian (4)______________ who can prove that they haven’t used banned substances will be able to go to the 2020 Olympics. However, they will not be allowed to compete for Russia.

The vice-president of Wada has (5)________________ that the 4-year ban is not enough. She said she wants stronger punishments in order to protect athletes who have not cheated. Some people worry that not having strong enough punishments will cause other athletes to think they can (6)__________ too.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. What type of punishment should athletes receive for taking drugs?
5. Is the 4-year ban on Russia competing long enough?
6. Is taking drugs a problem with athletes in your country?
7. Does your country regularly participate in international sport competitions?
8. Is it wrong for athletes to use performance-enhancing drugs?
9. If there was a vote, do you think athletes would choose to allow or ban drugs in sport?
10. Which sport do you think suffers the most from drug usage?
11. How often do you think athletes should be tested?
12. What do you think about life-time bans for athletes who use drugs?
13. Have any athletes from your country been discovered or banned?
14. Is there a difference between performance-enhancing drugs and performance-enhancing equipment/clothing?
15. Do you think sport can ever be completely drug-free?
16. Do you have a favourite athlete?
17. If your favourite athlete was found to be using drugs, would your opinion change?
18. If a football player scores a winning goal having taken drugs, should their whole team be penalised?
19. Should there be an alternative Olympics competition where athletes are allowed to take drugs?
20. Do you think Russia will stop using drugs in the future?