Russia's 2018 Winter Olympics Ban

Russia's 2018 Winter Olympics Ban

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Updated Mar 28, 2018 at 01:50AM EDT by Y F.

Added Dec 06, 2017 at 02:56PM EST by Matt.

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Russia's 2018 Winter Olympics Ban refer to the controversy surrounding the Russia's state-run doping program that was implemented during the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Following more than a year of investigation, the International Olympic Committee banned Russia from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Thus, any Russian athlete will appear in a neutral uniform, the Russian flag will not be flown and the record books will forever show that Russia won zero medals. In addition, a number of medals won at Sochi will be revoked.


On May 12th, 2016, The New York Times[1] reported that Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi were part of a state-run doping program, which led to at least 15 medals at the games. According to the Times, Grigory Rodchenkov, who ran the lab responsbile for the doping, said that he "he developed a three-drug cocktail of banned substances that he mixed with liquor and provided to dozens of Russian athletes, helping to facilitate one of the most elaborate -- and successful -- doping ploys in sports history."


On December 6th, 2017, following an investigation that lasted more than a year and a half, the International Olympic Committee banned Russia from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. The banning meant that the Russian flag or national anthem would not be present at the games, instead, athletes from Russia that were allowed to participate in the Winter Games would wear a neutral uniform bearing the Olympic logo and the Olympic theme would be played during any necessary ceremonies. Athletes will from Russia will also compete as "Olympic Athlete from Russia" or "OAR." In addition, the IOC has begun rescinding medals for past athletes who have been found guilty of doping.[2][3]

The committee has banned 25 Russians and stripped 11 medals, as of December 6th.

As a consequence, the Schmid Commission recommended to the IOC EB:

"to take the appropriate measures that should be strong enough to effectively sanction the existence of a systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia, as well as the legal responsibility of the various entities involved (i.e., including uniform, flag and anthem);

while protecting the rights of the individual Russian clean athletes; and

to take into consideration the multiple costs incurred by the two IOC DCs, in particular those linked to the investigations, the various expertise and the re-analysis of the samples of the Olympic Games."

After discussing and approving the Schmid Report, the IOC EB took the following decision:

To suspend the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) with immediate effect.

To invite individual Russian athletes under strict conditions (see below) to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. These invited athletes will participate, be it in individual or team competitions, under the name “Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)”. They will compete with a uniform bearing this name and under the Olympic Flag. The Olympic Anthem will be played in any ceremony.

Not to accredit any official from the Russian Ministry of Sport for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

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 IOC reserves the right to take measures against and sanction other individuals implicated in the system.

The ROC to reimburse the costs incurred by the IOC on the investigations and to contribute to the establishment of the Independent Testing Authority (ITA) for the total sum of USD 15 million, to build the capacity and integrity of the global anti-doping system.

The IOC may partially or fully lift the suspension of the ROC from the commencement of the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 provided these decisions are fully respected and implemented by the ROC and by the invited athletes and officials.

The IOC will issue operational guidelines for the implementation of these decisions.

Putin's Reaction

On December 6th, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a televised statement.[9] He said:

First of all, we need to say straight that to some extent we are guilty ourselves because we gave pretext for this. Second, I think this pretext was used in a not completely honest way, to say the least.Undoubtedly, we will not declare any blockade, will not prevent our Olympic athletes from participating, if any one of them wants to participate in their personal capacity.

Online Reaction

On December 5th, 2017, Redditor DNVR1345 [4] posted about the banning in the /r/worldnews subreddit. Within 24 hours, the post has received more than 136,000 points (91% upvoted) and 7,800 comments.

That day, Twitter [5] published a Moments page, documenting the reaction to Russia's banning. The page received more than 800 likes in 24 hours.

Many on Twitter reacted to the news by ironically tying the banning to the ongoing Russiagate controversy, posting gifs and pictures from the world of politics, specifically in regards to President Donald Trump (examples below).

Russia is banned from 2018 Winter Olympics. Can we ban them from our 2018 elections? Asking for a friend. GIF Now that Russia has been banned from the Winter Olympics, who is our president going to cheer for? YEAH! GIF But if Russia is banned from the Olympics, who will trump cheer for?

Media Coverage

Virtually all news outlets covered the banning, including The New York Times,[2] The Wall Street Journal,[6] Wired,[11] RT World News,[12] CBC Sports,[13] The Guardian,[7] NPR,[14] Sports Illustrated,[15] BBC,[16] Bloomberg[8] and more.

Elite Daily[10] published an article that focused on the memes and image macros associated with the banning.

Search Interest

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Top Comments


>Another Russian scandal
>Not actually related to RussiaGate or politics at all

I was genuinely not expecting this, and I am actually relieved about it.

Please proceed with your non-political scandal, then.


in reply to Xellos

Which it certainly is given how the Olympics has always had a history of politics being tied to events. After all, it is a prestigeful event that will allow a nation to show off, get some respect and instil national pride in itself.

However, it is a nice change for the scandal to not be related to RussiaGate which is has been beaten like a dead horse with no real solid smoking gun proof of its claims.


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