- Russia is banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics
- The IOC finds that its athletes used state-sponsored drugs to boost their performance
- ‘Clean’ Russian athletes may still participate neutrally under the Olympics flag
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that Russia will be banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics due to the doping of its athletes.
Doping is the use of performance-enhancing drugs that is banned in competitive sports.
The IOC found in its investigation that Russian athletes were exposed to state-sponsored doping for the 2014 Games the country hosted. This made Russia lose 11 of the 33 medals it won at the time.
Despite the ban, the IOC is allowing Russian athletes who are clean to participate in the game neutrally under the Olympics flag.
“The IOC, after following due process, has issued proportional sanctions for this systemic manipulation while protecting the clean athletes. This should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system led by WADA,” The Independent quoted IOC head Thomas Bach.
“As an athlete myself, I feel very sorry for all the clean athletes from all NOCs who are suffering from this manipulation. Working with the IOC Athletes’ Commission, we will now look for opportunities to make up for the moments they have missed on the finish line or on the podium,” he added.
Russia’s deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko, meanwhile, was imposed a lifetime ban after findings showed that the Russian sports ministry he was heading then endorsed the doping of athletes.
To end chances for doping athletes, the IOC will be conducting at least 20,000 tests on the competitors of the 2018 games.
The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea.