Russia Banned From 2018 Olympics


Clare McNamara, Contributing Editor

The International Olympics Committee has banned Russia from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics due to the countries  athlete’s use of performance-enhancing drugs (PED). This move is to be enacted effective immediately, and the decision was final on Tuesday, December 5th. This decision acts as a major blow to the nation, seeing as Russia is one of the dominant competitors in the Winter Olympics.

The Russian athletes who have trained endlessly for these games will be able to participate; however, they will not play for the country of Russia. The athletes will play under”Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)”, and will have to undergo extreme examination. If no PEDs are found, the athlete will be eligible to play, but in no way will they be allowed to represent the nation of Russia on their uniforms. The Olympic anthem will not play should any awards be given to Russian athletes.

In previous years, Russia has participated in 6 Winter Olympic games, winning 45 gold, 34 silver and 34 bronze medals, totaling 113 medals, just in the Winter Olympics cycle. These numbers have not been altered due to medals revoked for reasons such as doping.

The president of the International Olympics Committee, Thomas Bach, said in a press conference on Tuesday, that Russia’s doping was “an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport”, after referencing the anti-PED lab used in the Sochi Olympics of 2014.

President Putin said that Russia athletes will be told not to boycott the 2018 Olympics. Putin said to a Russian news agency, “we, without doubt, will not declare a blockade, we will not prevent our Olympians from taking part [in the Games], if one of them wants to take part in a personal capacity”.

To see how Russian athletes compete under OAR, watch the Winter Olympics from February 9th to 28th on NBC.