Russia’s Olympic team has been officially banned from the 2018 winter games at Pyeongchang, South Korea(Ruiz, Rebecca R., NYTimes). Government officials are not allowed to attend and the flag will not be present at the opening ceremony. Athletes who wish to compete can do so with special dispensation and if they don a neutral uniform.
No wins for Russia will show in official record books. The ban went into place Tuesday, December fifth, because of exposure of systematic doping by The International Olympic Committee(Ruiz, Rebecca R., NYTimes).Some Russian officials threatened to boycott the games if such a punishment was inflicted. The President of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, seems to have predicted a boycott of the winter games. He also dismisses the doping scandal.
Dmitri S. Peskov, Putin’s spokesperson, said no boycott was discussed before the ban(Ruiz, Rebecca R., NYTimes).Except for Russia’s team, other athletes who want to compete may do so if they pass some qualifications. If they have a history of thorough drug testing they may petition to compete in a neutral uniform(Ruiz, Rebecca R., NYTimes). The International Olympic Committee will form a panel to decide on each athlete’s eligibility.
Although it is unsure how many will pass all the requirements, it is clear representation for Russia will deplete. Sports such as biathlon and cross-country skiing are those that Russia has excelled at and has had the most violations. It is possible there will be no one competing in these areas(Ruiz, Rebecca R., NYTimes).At the 2014 Sochi games, a team created by Russia’s sports ministry contaminated more than a hundred urine samples to cover up evidence of steroid use by the athletes.
The number of athletes disqualified from the Sochi standings because of this are more than two dozen. Olympic officials are still sorting through the information and rescinding medals(Ruiz, Rebecca R., NYTimes). At the coming games there will a special ceremony to reassign medals to the corresponding winners.
Because of legal appeals from the athletes who have been disqualified, it is uncertain whether all results will be finalized in time(Ruiz, Rebecca R., NYTimes).Along with banishment from the 2018 winter games, the Russian Olympic Committee was additionally fined fifteen million dollars. Global Officials say that money will be put to drug-testing international athletes(Ruiz, Rebecca R., NYTimes). Russia’s punishment is what antidoping regulators have been demanding since the 2016 summer games when Russia was forced to participate in limited numbers(Ruiz, Rebecca R., NYTimes).
It is likely the Russian Olympic Committee will file a legal appeal.The punishment may also have consequences for next year’s eleven billion dollar soccer World Cup. The nation’s deputy prime minister, Vitaly Mutko, was Russia’s top sports official during the 2014 Sochi games(Ruiz, Rebecca R.
, NYTimes). As a part of the ruling, Mutko was banned from the Olympics for life. Mutko is also chairman of the local organizing committee for the World Cup(Ruiz, Rebecca R., NYTimes). However, FIFA released a statement saying that the International Olympic Committee’s ruling will have no effect on the preparations for the World Cup.