Russia Banned from Pyeongchang Games

Daniel Claussen, Reporter

Russia has been banned from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea for violating the doping policy. The country’s officials and leaders are restricted from attending, the flag will not be shown, and their anthem will not be played. Any athlete from Russia who receives special eligibility will be able to compete under a neutral flag.

In the record books, Russia will be listed, but they will have no medals next to their country. Russia is a sports juggernaut in the Olympics and has used it to display power. They have been exposed for systematic doping. The International Olympics Committee (IOC), after completing its own investigation, handed Russia penalties never before seen in Olympics history. The ruling was the final confirmation that the nation was guilty of executing a state-backed doping program.

The rest of the world is waiting for Russia’s response to this punishment. Some officials have talked about boycotting the IOC if given a severe punishment. Some boycotts have ended up happening.  The IOC will go over each case for each player from Russia that wants to compete. They will have to have a long history of drug tests and must be approved by the IOC.  It is unclear how many athletes will be able to compete, but the contingent from Russia will surely be depleted.

According to the New York Times, the competitors able to attend will be called “Olympic Athletes from Russia.” Olympic officials have discussed lifting the ban right before the end of the games so that Russia’s flag could make a symbolic appearance in the final hours of the Pyeongchang games.