So, as the rules stand: having an incredibly rare gene mutation that boosts red blood cells—okay; training at altitude to boost red blood cells—okay; shelling out thousands of dollars to sleep in a tent that simulates altitude—okay; injecting a drug, one approved for other medical uses that causes your body to act as if it’s at altitude—you’re a disgrace. How should we draw the line? Where does a fair advantage end and cheating begin?

the Olympics have the highest average cost overrun of any type of megaproject. Moreover, cost overrun is found in all Games, without exception; for no other type of megaproject is this the case. 47 percent of Games have cost overruns above 100 percent. The largest cost overrun for Summer Games was found for Montreal 1976 at 720 percent, followed by Barcelona 1992 at 266 percent. For Winter Games the largest cost overrun was 324 percent for Lake Placid 1980, followed by Sochi 2014 at 289 percent.

For the first time in history, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is fielding a small team of refugees – between five and 10 athletes who will represent not a country, but all those without one.

This is hardly the first time a gap has opened up between an Olympic sales pitch and its actual execution. Sydney struggled to meet cleanup targets in its famous harbor before the 2000 Games and is still waging the battle. Beijing 2008 was deemed "the most polluted Olympics in history"...because of its smog, despite the Chinese government's mandate that idled cars and shut down factories. The upshot? No permanent improvement in air quality, yet Beijing will host the 2022 Winter Games.

Boston—stretching only 48 square miles—is too small to take on the games alone (2012 Olympic host London is 700 square miles). If the games are concentrated too heavily downtown, the tourist volume could easily overwhelm the city's narrow road infrastructure. (the 2012 summer games generated 900,000 Olympic tourists. An equal figure would nearly triple Boston's population overnight).