FIRST AIRED: July 25, 2016

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>> Russian athletes now face a personal face over the doping scandal. After Olympics chiefs rejected calls for a total ban on Russia at the Rio games. For them, it's a lifeline. Despite calls from the World Anti-Doping Agency for a blanket ban and with evidence of state sponsored doping.
While such news could potentially trigger a political firestorm in many countries. Reuters Moscow Bureau Chief Andrew Osbourne says the Kremlin, just months away from national elections remains serene, and the man at the top unabated.>> Despite all of these problems that Russia is facing at the moment when it comes to its sporting image
>> Mr. Putin really doesn't have that much to worry about. His approval rating is incredibly high. The last poll put his approval rating at 81%, which is obviously stratospheric by Western standards. It's not like in the West where people really judge politicians by their deeds, by what they do, by how effective they are.
Here, say analysts and pollsters. It's completely different, and really the contract and the relationship is really one between a father of the nation like figure, IE Putin and the voters. So there isn't really too much wrong that he can do. And Mr. Putin has really capitalized on that by blaming these doping allegations.
By saying, you know what, this is really all part of a Western conspiracy, a Cold War-style Western conspiracy. He's held back to the 1980s, a period of course, when the Cold War was at its height. When both the Soviet Union and United States boycotted each other's Olympic Games.
And Mr. Putin has said this is happening now again. There is political interference in sport. And therefore, this is not really about doping. This is about one-upmanship on the global stage, about geopolitics.