The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday scrubbed Russia’s presence from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The nation’s flag will not fly at the opening ceremony, its anthem will not sound at any podium, its medal tally will remain at zero. Even if its athletes compete, they will not do so under the Russian banner.
The ban follows a three-year IOC investigation that reaffirmed what has long been suspected: the Russian state has engaged in widespread doping of its athletes at major international sports competitions. At the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, this included a clandestine operation to tamper with more than 100 urine samples at a laboratory that handled testing for performance-enhancing drugs; it resulted in more than two dozen athletes being retroactively struck from their standings.
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