And so the sporting world awaits the next move by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) following the Court of Arbitration for Sport's upholding of the ban imposed on Russia’s track and field athletes by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is advocating a complete ban on Russian participation in international sporting competition following the damning McLaren Report findings over “state-sponsored” doping during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. WADA doesn’t want to see Russian athletes in action until there has been a “culture change” in their country on this issue.
Meanwhile the IOC has been “exploring legal options” over imposing a blanket ban - and its judgement will have been critically influenced by the CAS decision in the case of The Russian Olympic Committee, Lyukman Adams and 67 other individual Russian Track & Field athletes v the IAAF.
It could all be as simple as a row of dominoes knocking each other over - with Russia’s sporting ambitions hitting the deck.
But one or two cutely angled dominoes could just deflect the overall effect, leaving more than a few Russian aspirations upright.
Whichever way the IOC decision goes, observers and commentators in future years will look back upon this frantic period of activity ahead of the impending Rio Olympics as one of the critical moments of world sport.
During this awkward hiatus I happened across a report written by The Guardian’s late, great athletics Correspondent John Rodda, who was covering a three-sided international meeting at Dresden in June 1975 between Britain, Romania and the hosts, East Germany.
Headlined “All steamed up behind the Germans”, the report relates what Rodda calls the “disaster in Dresden”, and starts off: “Not since the match with Germany just before the war started in 1939 have Britain suffered such humiliation as they did this weekend in the contests with the German Democratic Republic and Romania.
“In 34 events against the Germans, only three were won by the British…the East Germans won the men’s match 147-74 and the women’s by 91-44, while the Romanian women beat Britain 70-65.
“The main damage is to the morale of the team because beneath these alarming figures there have been fine individual performances. Six men and three women achieved their best performances but those achievements were drowned in the sea of German excellence.
“This has left many of the team angry and upset. They reach out to new peaks to discover that they are still hopelessly behind...
“The power and destruction were most complete in the field events but Dickenson, reaching 226ft 1in in the hammer, Hillier beyond 60m in the discus and Johnson triple jumping 53ft 1in all had the uplift of breaking new ground; but they and many others are quick to ask what they as individuals and Britain are neglecting that all their efforts should be seen collectively so hopeless.”
Forty years on, and knowing what we do now about the systemic, state-run doping regime that operated in the GDR for almost a quarter of a century, this report has a poignant, almost a tragic reverberation.
The tragic effects were twofold - for those athletes whose own excellence was diminished by competing against cheats, but also, more profoundly, for those athletes whose selection was dependent upon them doping. At least the first category got to know how good they truly were.
It was not until ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall that hard evidence of this aberrant practice, in the form of files kept by the Stasi secret police force, emerged as those who had been forced into the doping regime began to sue those responsible for a series of ailments and physical and mental distortions.
The doping programme was known as State Plan 14.25. In 1977 one of East Germany’s best sprinters, Renate Neufeld, fled to the West with the Bulgarian man she was to marry.
A year later she said that she had been told to take drugs supplied by coaches while training to represent East Germany in the 1980 Olympic Games.
She added that her trainer advised her to start taking pills to improve her performance, telling her they were vitamins.
"I then refused to take these pills," she recalled. "One morning in October 1977, the secret police took me at 7am and questioned me about my refusal to take pills prescribed by the trainer. I then decided to flee, with my fiancé".
The parallels with Russia, and with whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova, appear strong.
According to a figure obtained by German historian Giselher Spitzer, who researched documents taken from the Stasi offices and photocopied shortly before the end of East Germany’s Communist regime, around 600 athletes were still registered on the doping programme in 1989, and previously up to two thousand had been involved every year.
No-one could dispute that the results of this abuse were startling for the GDR. At the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, this country of 17 million collected nine gold medals. Four years later the total was 20, and a year after the “disaster in Dresden”, at the Montreal Games of 1976, the East German gold medal count doubled again to forty.
(Footnote. Britain’s track and field athletes earned just one medal at Montreal – a bronze for Brendan Foster in the 10,000m.)
The methods perfected by those running that regime produced results in sports such as athletics, swimming and rowing which propelled East Germany into a position as the third most powerful sporting nation on earth, behind the United States and the Soviet Union.
But Neufeld’s testimony stands for all of her fellow athletes, swimmers, rowers…there was no alternative. Victory was required by the state for the state. For those who ran, or jumped, or swam, or rowed, sport had become politics, and politics sport.
Now here we are again…