All through the Cold War era the erstwhile Communist bloc strived to beat the US-led countries also on the sporting arena. Marquee sporting competitions saw a tense battle between the Soviet Union contingent and the US squad, with the latter invariably proving a shade better than the robotically-trained athletes coming out of the Communist-controlled sporting academies. But it seems though the Cold War is now well and truly behind us, the bad habits are hard to die. The World Anti-Doping Agency decision to slap a four-year ban on Russian participation in major sporting events underlines the continuing abuse of performance-enhancing drugs by Russian athletes. Worse, these spotlight complicity of higher authorities in systematically tinkering with blood and urine samples in order to hide the use of such steroids for incentivizing sporting performance. Russian attempts to game the sporting system for the sake of out-performing western athletes is another black mark against the authoritarian President Vladimir Putin. It seems to matter little to him that Russia loses international prestige thanks to the ban from the global sporting arenas than it stood to gain through corrupt means by winning a few more medals than the rest of the competition. Better be honest than rich is a principle that the Russian strongman seems never to have heard.