Russia has officially been banned from next year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, because of its extensive state-backed doping campaign during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The Russian flag will not be displayed at the opening ceremony and government officials are forbidden to attend.
Athletes may get special permission to participate wearing neutral uniforms, but official records will show that Russia won zero medals.
The decision was announced on Tuesday by the International Olympic Committee. The commission was led by Samuel Schmid, former president of Switzerland.
The Schmid Commission recommended the following measures to the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board:
- “to take the appropriate measures that should be strong enough to effectively sanction the existence of a systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia, as well as the legal responsibility of the various entities involved (i.e., including uniform, flag and anthem);
- while protecting the rights of the individual Russian clean athletes; and
- to take into consideration the multiple costs incurred by the two IOC DCs, in particular those linked to the investigations, the various expertise and the re-analysis of the samples of the Olympic Games.”