Recent developments in the never-ending fallout to the Russian doping scandal have done little to dispel the theory that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) verdict was a punishment in name only.
After the conclusion of the legal process following the CAS ruling in December, and the subsequent confirmation that neither the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) nor the Russian Anti-Doping Agency would appeal, attention has turned to the implementation of the decision.
We have already seen it enforced at World Championships in handball and winter sports such as biathlon and luge, for example, where Russians have taken part as "neutrals" and representing their National Federation rather than the country.
Russian Government officials occupying positions at the country’s sports organisations, including the head of the scandal-hit athletics Federation, have also been forced to step down.
The implementation guidelines for Russian athletes at World Championships and the Olympic Games - outlining the terms under which they will compete at major events until December 2022 - were published last week, sparking a torrent of criticism on social media from those whose fears over the leniency of the CAS decision are slowly being realised.
It is difficult not to share these concerns when you look at how International Federations are implementing - or failing to implement - the CAS verdict, particularly when it comes to World Championships that are due to take place in Russia during the two-year period of sanctions.
Earlier this month, United World Wrestling (UWW) confirmed its flagship event in 2022 would not be held in Krasnoyarsk as planned because of the CAS ruling.
On the face of it, that was the correct call under the terms of the verdict, which Federations are bound to enforce under the World Anti-Doping Code.
But the strength of the decision is somewhat diminished when you add in the fact that the UWW simply moved Russia’s hosting of its World Championships to 2023, outside of the sanction period.
What the UWW is effectively saying to Russia is that it is only moving the Championships because it has to, not because it feels it is right.
As soon as it was able to give Russia a major event, and all the benefits that comes with it, the UWW did so. That sends a poor message to athletes and other officials across the world who have called for the nation to receive the punishments orchestrating a state-sponsored doping scandal merit.
The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) then confirmed its World Championships this year would remain in Moscow, despite the CAS verdict dictating it be moved to another venue.
The IFSC has taken full advantage of a loophole in the CAS award, which states Federations must strip Russia of major events within the two-year period "unless it is legally or practically impossible to do so".
In a statement following its announcement that Russia would stay as hosts of the World Championships, the IFSC claimed it was "both legally and practically impossible to find a different solution".
It has not gone unnoticed at WADA, which is looking into whether the IFSC has abided by the ruling.
"WADA will review any information to be provided by IFSC regarding this case and discuss it with both external legal counsel and the independent Compliance Review Committee to assess whether it is in line with the terms of the CAS decision," a WADA spokesperson said.
The global watchdog can trigger a non-compliance procedure against Federations that fail to comply with the ruling, with exclusion of the sport from the Olympic Games the most severe consequences available to the organisation - although this is unlikely to be imposed even if the IFSC is found guilty.
Others in the same basket as the UWW and IFSC have yet to make a decision either way at the time of writing. Russia is still due to host World Championships in volleyball and shooting next year, while Moscow is also scheduled to stage the 2021 Beach Soccer World Cup.
It is feasible the UWW may be the only organisation to strip Russia of a World Championship in response to the CAS award, which would make a mockery of the supposedly strong consequences detailed in the decision.
Whether a shooting or sport climbing event gets moved out of Russia may seem an insignificant issue to some, but the way Federations have dealt with this so far is symptomatic of a wider reluctance from sport to truly sanction the country for its crimes.
"You can say you have differing levels of confidence and, bluntly, I do question whether everyone in the sports movement has a sufficient degree of commitment to clean sport and anti-doping. I don’t think it is a uniform commitment at all," Jonathan Taylor, the former head of the WADA committee behind the initial four-year package of punishments handed down to Russia, told insidethegames.
"You can go up or down based on the facts of the case, but it does mean ultimately that if you were to disregard the consequences, you could face consequences of your own.
"I don’t think it will get that far and I think people will comply, but I am sure you will find there will be some straining at the edges to interpret it one way or another, as favourably [to Russia] as they can."