Lausanne, December 6: Russian Olympic team got a major setback on Tuesday after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned them from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea over state-sponsored doping row.
Notably, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has banned Russia from the 2018 Olympics today over state-sponsored doping row. Now, the country’s government officials are forbidden to attend, its flag will not be displayed at the opening ceremony and its anthem will not sound.
The IOC announced the decision after examining evidence of state-sponsored doping over several years that reached a high-point at the Winter Olympics hosted in Sochi, Russia, in 2014. The decision was taken at the IOC's executive board meeting today in Lausanne, Switzerland.
According to the announcement made by IOC, any athletes from Russia who receive special dispensation to compete will do so as individuals wearing a neutral uniform, and the official record books will forever show that Russia won zero medals. For example, athletes from Kuwait, which was barred from the 2016 Summer Games, were identified as Independent Olympic Athletes last year in Rio de Janeiro.
Olympics officials also said they might lift the ban on Russia in time for the closing ceremony, suggesting the nation’s flag could make a symbolic appearance in the final hours of the Pyeongchang Games. The Russian Olympic Committee was also fined $15 million money that global officials said will be put toward drug-testing international athletes.
Thomas Bach, president of IOC, has said he was perturbed not only by Russia’s widespread cheating but by how it had been accomplished by corrupting the Olympic laboratory that handled drug testing at the Games, and on orders from Russia’s own Olympic officials.
“This decision should draw a line under this damaging episode,” Bach said at a news conference, noting that Alexander Zhukov, the president of Russia’s Olympic Committee whom the I.O.C. suspended from its membership Tuesday, had issued an apology — something global regulators have long requested from the nation.
Importantly, nations have in the past been barred from taking part in the Olympics, notably South Africa during the apartheid years, but none has ever been handed a blanket ban over doping. The Games in South Korea, which start on 9 February, will now be without one of the powerhouses of Olympic sport.