Sport

Russian Federation banned from competing as team at 2018 Winter Olympics — IOC

Russian Federation banned from competing as team at 2018 Winter Olympics — IOC

In a historic act of punishment, Russia's flag and anthem will be absent from February's PyeongChang Games in South Korea as conseuqence for widespread doping Olympic officials believe was supported by the country's government. Ihe IOC stopped short of a blanket ban in order to allow Russian athletes who have not been implicated in the doping scandal to compete.

That was the punishment issued Tuesday to the proud sports juggernaut that has long used the Olympics as a show of global force but was exposed for systematic doping in previously unfathomable ways.

The bans came as a result of an International Olympic Committee investigation into allegations of widespread doping among Russians and sample tampering by laboratory and security officials at the Sochi Olympics.

Russian Federation could refuse the offer and boycott the games. According to The New York Times, Russian officials had threatened a boycott if they were barred from the Olympics.

More than two dozen Russian athletes had already been banned from participation in the wake of a November claim by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that Russia had been non-compliant in anti-doping standards. Also, the International Olympic Committee put forth a set of conditions for Russian athletes to compete at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics as neutral athletes.

The ruling comes after the IOC's internal investigation of Russia's state-sponsored doping program across all Olympic sports, which has been widely reported in the media for the past two years.




At the coming games, Bach said Tuesday, a special medal ceremony will reassign medals to retroactive winners from Sochi. As we learned in the making of our documentary 'Icarus, ' the Russian state ran a vast, state-sponsored doping system that made a mockery of the Olympic ideals of brotherhood and fair play.

Bach and his board have come to their decision after reading through the findings and recommendations of a 17-month investigation headed up by the former president of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid. "Requirements have been issued to the worldwide federations and RUSADA (Russian anti-doping agency) for the level of testing of those athletes", he said.

"The world knows that hundreds of Olympic dreams have been stolen by the doping system in the country where I was born", Stepanov wrote in an affidavit submitted to the International Olympic Committee this fall.

The last nation to earn a ban from the Winter Olympics was South Africe.

Numerous key findings were revealed in an explosive report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), authored by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren.

More than 20 athletes have been banned for life from the Olympics in the past weeks over alleged doping violations at the 2014 Sochi Games.


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