Russia has been banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang due to the country’s state-sponsored doping program.
The ban comes after”systematic manipulation” of anti-doping rules were found, along with a cover-up from Russian officials during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Any Russian athletes who are determined to be “clean” can still participate, but they will not be representing Russia.
Instead, the athletes will represent “Olympic Athlete from Russia” (OAR) and the Olympic flag, with the Olympic anthem being played should any athlete medal at the games.
From the report:
Citing “systematic manipulation” of anti-doping rules, a 14-person International Olympic Committee panel announced Tuesday it has banned Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. The panel had been mulling a confidential IOC report that detailed Russia’s official doping program during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and the extensive cover-up.
As a result of this ban, no Russian officials will be allowed to attend the games. Their flag will be excluded from any display, and if any “clean” Russian athletes are given permission to attend, they won’t be competing under the Russian flag.
Russia can still appeal the ban and Russian President Vladimir Putin has hinted at a boycott should a ban be put in place. But can you really boycott an event you are banned from?
We will have to wait and see whether any Russian athletes are permitted to attend.