Russia Banned From 2018 Olympics – Athletes Can Still Compete Under Olympic Flag
The International Olympic Committee has barred the Russian Olympic Committee from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics, but will allow some Russian athletes to compete under the Olympic flag.
According to the Boston Globe, the ban comes as the result of an investigation that alleged the Russian Olympic Committee orchestrated a doping program with its athletes at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Some Russian athletes will still be allowed to compete in the 2018 games in PyeongChang, South Korea, which run from Feb. 9-27, but they will be considered as an "Olympic Athlete from Russia," competing under the Olympic flag and with a uniform bearing that name. Any medalists from Russia will be honored with the Olympic Anthem instead of the Russian National Anthem.
The IOC also fined the Russian committee $15 million to cover the cost of the investigation and to fund future anti-doping work.
According to the Globe story, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has not yet commented on the action by the IOC, has previously indicated Russia would boycot the 2018 Winter Games if athletes were not allowed to compete under the Russian flag, saying it would be "humiliating" for the country and its athletes.