IOC Bans Russia From The 2018 Winter Olympics For Absurdly Intricate Doping Scheme

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The International Olympic Committee announced today that it has banned Russia—but not all Russian athletes—from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as an unprecedented punishment for systemic doping, including at the 2014 Games in Sochi.

Russian athletes who pass drug tests and are approved by a panel will be able to compete under the name “Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR).” The Russian flag will not be shown, athletes will not compete in Russian uniforms, and the Russian anthem will not be played for any ceremonies. No official from the Russian Ministry of Sport will be allowed at the 2018 Olympics.


By name, the following officials had their titles and responsibilities stripped:

To exclude the then Minister of Sport, Mr Vitaly Mutko, and his then Deputy Minister, Mr. Yuri Nagornykh, from any participation in all future Olympic Games.

To withdraw Mr Dmitry Chernyshenko, the former CEO of the Organising Committee Sochi 2014, from the Coordination Commission Beijing 2022.

To suspend ROC President Alexander Zhukov as an IOC Member, given that his membership is linked to his position as ROC President.


The New York Times had reported in 2016 that Russia had coordinated an enormous state-run doping scheme for a number of their athletes. According to the report, Russian officials had snuck into the anti-doping laboratory in order to swap out dirty urine samples with clean ones. Grigory Rodchenkov, the director of the lab, revealed the process.