The International Olympic Committee has revealed that Russia will not attend the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, due to allegations of “systemic doping.” In a report from The New York Times, the IOC announced from Switzerland that due to “widespread doping,” Russia’s flag will not make an appearance and its anthem won’t be heard either.
Furthermore, athletes who hail from Russia and intend to compete in the Olympics will do so in a neutral manner – meaning not affiliated with any country.
It will go on record that Russia won zero Olympic medals in the winter season of 2018. Reportedly, the punishment against the country goes down in history as one of the most punitive actions taken against a nation ever.
Following a two-year investigation, officials discovered that Russia was guilty of perpetrating a “state-backed” doping program to help athletes get away with using steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.
The President of the IOC, Thomas Bach, said Russia’s attempt to disobey the rules is one of the worst attacks on the integrity of the Olympics ever.
Even though Russia is officially not allowed to attend the games, individuals from the country can perform under the designation of an “Olympic Athlete from Russia.”
Reportedly, the World Anti-Doping Agency investigated the country and discovered that around 1,000 athletes – in more than 30 sports – had illegally used PEDs from at least 2011.
This year’s Olympic Games take place in South Korea and will start on the 9th of February, 2018 – until the 25th of February, 2018.
And while it’s undoubtedly egregious for Russia to encourage their athletes to take performance-enhancing drugs, many experts claim that the use of PEDs and steroids is ubiquitous in professional sports as well as the Olympics. However, the difference is that Russia – as a government – helped their athletes break the rules.