Andddd no medals for Vladimir Putin.
Russia has been barred from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea in response to the widespread doping among the country’s athletes.
The International Olympic Committee made the ruling on Tuesday, announcing Russian government officials are forbidden to attend next year’s global sporting event.
Not only that, its flag will not be displayed during the opening ceremony and its anthem will not be played. Ouch!
White some athletes from Russia can petition for eligibility to compete, they will only be able to do so as individuals. Yes, even if these athletes take home the gold, official record books will show that Russia won ZERO medals.
The IOC issued the punishment a year after completing an investigation that exposed a state-sponsored doping program operated by the country. To match the unprecedented use of banned substances, the committee hit Russia with penalties so severe, they were unprecedented in Olympics history.
The punishment, which will likely face a legal appeal from Russia’s Olympic Committee, is similar to what the World Anti-Doping Agency had lobbied for leading up to the 2016 Summer Games — which allowed Russia to participate in restricted numbers.
The 2018 Winter Games, however, will show no traces of the country. Russian athletes with histories of diligent drug testing can request permission to complete in neutral uniform, but then must be approved by a panel appointed by the IOC.
We’ll wait to see how Russia responds to this news, as some country officials threatened to boycott in response to such a harsh punishment.
OMG, Vlad should totally throw an anti-Olympics! That’ll show them.
[Image via NBC.]