BREAKING NEWS: The IOC have announced the Russian team are banned from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang this coming February! This ban comes after the lengthy investigation into suspected state wide doping around the 2014 Sochi Games.
“This was an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport. The IOC EB (executive board), after following due process, has issued proportional sanctions for this systemic manipulation while protecting the clean athletes” said IOC president Thomas Bach.
“This should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system led by WADA.”
It does not stop there for Russia as the IOC have placed a life time Olympic ban on their Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, formerly Russia’s Sports Minister, and his former deputy Yuri Nagornykh. Alexander Zhukov, the Russian Olympic Committee president, , has also been suspended from his role as an IOC member, but has stated the will lodge an appeal against the sanction.
“This is an appropriate and considered response by the IOC, punishing those involved in the blatant cheating, the systematic manipulation that took place during the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games while allowing clean athletes to compete in PyeongChang” said Ian Chesterman, Chef de Mission 2018 Australian Winter Olympic Team.
As with last year’s summer games in Rio certain Russian athletes, that have undergone stringent drugs testing, will be allowed to compete under the neutral flag at the Winter Olympics in Korea, they will do so under the name “Olympic Athlete from Russia”. The Russian flag will not be flown at any point during the Opening Ceremony and any medals won will be individual and not awarded to Russia.
The fallout for the Russians’ transgressions in Sochi will span far and wide, whilst the process of reassigning of medals to clean athletes has begun.
”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 the podium.”
Russia have responded by refusing to televise the Games!