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Tucker West, the luge representative of the US, pictured training in Sochi: the Games opened this weekend under a cloud of controversy. Picture: Getty

Ewan MacKenna: The Irish athletes should summon up the courage to tell the truth about Putin's putrid Games

It was the perfect example of old and new coming together, an obvious demonstration of how it all went wrong somewhere in between. Back in the summer, on a trip to the site of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens, a handful of tourists pottered about, marvelling at the beautiful and elegant simplicity of the Panathenaiko Stadio.

Outside the white marble arena, though, a day before the handing of the flame to the Russian...

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