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Russia banned from 2018 Olympic Games


The news of Russia’ ban from the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea has rocked a once dominant Olympic nation. Russia is now the first county in history to be banned from competing in the games due to doping, or the use of athletic performance enhancing drugs.

The International Olympic Committee conducted an investigation into claims of this unsportsmanlike behavior and concluded it with heavy penalties against Russia and its athletes.

No Russian athlete will be able to participate in the Winter Games unless they are exempt from this new ruling by being deemed “clean.” Those who are given the opportunity to compete will be considered independent participants, wearing neutral colors. The number of athletes who are able to continue their training for the games is unknown at this time.

Additionally, there will be no recognition of Russia presented at the Olympics, meaning their flag will not be displayed and their anthem will not be played.

A more physical penalty was given to the Russian Olympic Committee as they were fined $15 million. This money will be funded toward drug-testing international athletes.

President of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov is also suspended from the IOC.

“What should [Russian athletes] feel, being punished without any evidence of their guilt, when they will be forced to watch the events on TV where their foreign colleagues who legally take doping substances with all sorts of doctor’s permissions are competing? Nothing but offense and disappointment,” Zhukov said, according to Financial Times.

Russian athletes face the question of whether or not they will participate in the games if they cannot represent their country.

Suspicion of Russian doping has been prevalent for years. Since the Games in London 2012 and Sochi 2014, a World Anti-Agency-commissioned report stated that Russia knew about the doping and proceeded to cover the scandal up.

Russia has not yet released a formal response.


*Photo courtesy of Jarrett Frazier via*

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Russia banned from 2018 Olympic Games