The highly anticipated 2018 Winter Olympics are set to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Earlier today, the New York Times reported that Russia has been banned from competing in next year’s winter games. The International Olympic Committee decided on Tuesday that Russia will be barred from competing as a country.
The list of restrictions placed on Russia is extensive. No Russian government officials will be allowed to attend the Olympic games, nor will their flag be displayed, or their anthem played.
While a select few Russian athletes may still be able to participate, they will not be able to represent their country in the way they thought they would. These athletes will wear neutral uniforms that do not give any glory to the barred country. Also, the official Olympic record books will denote that Russia won zero medals.
The International Olympic Committee is banning Russia from the 2018 Olympics as a punishment for doping at a level never before seen in the history of Olympic athletes. Even worse, evidence shows that the doping program was sponsored by the state itself. The doping was so complex, that only the drug use by German athletes in the 1960s and 1970s even begins to comes close to the doping backed by the Russian government.
It is unclear how the Russian government will respond to the ruling of the International Olympic Committee. There was reportedly talk of plans for Russian officials to boycott the 2018 Russian games. However, considering that the International Olympic Committee clearly does not want Russia anywhere near Pyeongchang, South Korea during the games, there would probably be no real point in actually boycotting the games.
While Russia has historically used the Olympic Games as an opportunity to showcase power and beat the athletes of other countries, they will simply have to sit tight during the 2018 Olympic Games.
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