Rio 2016 - EXCLUSIVE - Rutherford: IOC should have banned ALL repeated cheats, they damage our sport

Greg Rutherford
Britain's Greg Rutherford celebrates

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'I don't agree with the IOC's decision'

In light of the recent and well-documented issues, it’s easy to forget just how exciting and inspirational the Olympic Games are. I have been quite outspoken about my disappointment with the IOC’s decision when it comes to Russia, but although I disagree, I do empathise with the difficult balance they must have faced when making the decision. I don’t agree with the decision, but I empathise.

I like most am a little confused at the inconsistency regarding those who have previously served doping bans.

My overriding feeling is that it’s a shame that we’ve found ourselves in this situation so close to the Games, as being part of the Games is the best feeling in the world.

I believe the harm to sport is caused when convicted repeat cheats are allowed to participate in the sport.

So in some way that's a positive move from the IOC, but I would prefer for it to be reapplied across all countries.

Being in the Olympic Village is an amazing experience; Olympic city would be a more apt description. Every single person in the Village is either the very best in the world at what they do, or works on helping the best be their best. It’s a fascinating mix of the fastest, the tallest, the smallest, the strongest and those who can keep going the longest!

I also really like the fact that everyone, from young athletes from developing countries to multi-millionaire sportspeople, have to queue up and eat in the same dining hall. The big challenge is not get too caught up in it all.

Every Olympic Games has its problems, even London 2012, but once the events get underway the problems all seem to fade away and we’re given a great spectacle of sport, of which hopefully I will try to play my part.

'I froze a sperm sample over Zika'

Of course Zika was a concern for me, but no more of a concern than I apply to any other travel related health risk. I did take a simple protective measure for my family – I froze a sperm sample, just in case. I have to admit I was surprised at the reaction to this. To me it’s a no-brainer: why wouldn't I?

I love nothing more than competing for my country, and I think the sports stars who have withdrawn from the Games will be really, truly missing out on the best sporting experience there is.

It’s also different for me in athletics; those that have withdrawn tend to be from sports for whom the Olympics is not necessarily the pinnacle of their sporting calendar. For us it’s everything.

'I am now the guy to beat'

Of course there are different pressures. I can’t control what the other jumpers can do, but I can control my performance, and that’s how I approach any big competition.

I am now the guy to beat, but I like that and over the last three years I’ve shown that I react well to this pressure.

The interesting thing with sport is the way your personal goalposts always move; you always want more. I never take any competition for granted, and I’m approaching Rio with the same hunger and desire I had before I had won a single title; every medal matters.

I guess it’s a sign I’m getting old that people keep asking me about whether this will be my last Olympics! I don’t plan on retiring anytime soon and for now I’m just focusing on doing what I need to do over the next three weeks.

I’ve had some really great training, and I’ve proven I’m great at getting the best out of myself when it matters on the big occasion, so I intend to do exactly that in Rio!

Read the original article on Eurosport: EXCLUSIVE - Rutherford: IOC should have banned ALL repeated cheats, they damage our sport

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