Russia Booted From Winter Olympics
Russia booted from Winter Olympics to be held in South Korea. The 2018 Winter Olympics has banned Russian athletes over the country’s “systemic manipulation” of anti-doping rules. However, all is not lost as Russian athlete’s who can prove that they are clean will be “invited” to compete according to the International Olympic Committee.
Major Punishment Has Been Meted Out
The Russian team is known as a powerhouse of the Olympic movement. This decision to ban the Russians is the most wide ranging punishment ever meted out by the IOC on any participating nation.
Aside from the ban the Russian Olympic Committee has also been ordered to pay $15 million to reimburse the costs by the IOC’s investigation of the doping scandal as well as to help set up a new Independent Testing Authority (ITA).
Further, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, former Minister of Sport and chairman of the organizing committee for soccer’s 2018 World Cup in Russia, Vitaly Mutko, has been barred from attending any future Olympic Games along with his former deputy, Yuri Nagornykh.
“Olympic Athlete from Russia”
Those athlete’s demonstrating they are “clean” and meet the strict guidelines set forth by the committee, will compete under the name “Olympic Athlete from Russia” (OAR). Their uniform to be worn during the Olympics will bear that name. If there are any medal ceremonies for Russian athletes then the Olympic anthem will be played.
So far 25 Russian competitors have received lifetime bans. This has caused Russia to drop from first in the Sochi medal table, to fourth place behind Norway, Canada and the USA. Russia had received 13 Gold medals which dropped to nine; they received 11 Silver medals, which dropped to five; they had accumulated 12 Bronze medals which dropped to eight.
In a written statement, lawyer Jim Walden wrote, “Today’s decision by the International Olympic Committee sends a powerful message that it will not tolerate state-sponsored cheating by any nation.”