Russia has just received their punishment for doping during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. According to reports the country isn’t allowed to participate in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the Russian flag and anthem will be excluded from the Opening Ceremony, and Russian government officials won’t be allowed to attend. Russia will also need to pay to form a new Independent Testing Agency.
Recall that Russia was accused of government-ordered doping during the Sochi games, and Russia’s former anti-doping director Grigory Rodchenkov admitted to helping athletes dope. A team put together by Russia’s sports ministry opened athletes’ urine samples and replaced them with clean ones. The World Anti-Doping Agency conducted a two-month study and confirmed that the reports of the doping program were true, and Russia’s track and field team was banned from the summer 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Olympic hopefuls in Russia aren’t totally at a loss because of the ruling. Athletes who have a history of passing drug tests will be able to compete under the name “Olympic Athlete from Russia” wearing a neutral uniform. But they can’t earn any medals for their country.
This is the harshest punishment a country has received for doping in the history of the Olympics, according to the New York Times. At the end of the PyeongChang games, the International Olympic Committee may opt to “partially or fully lift the suspension,” depending on how the country cooperates.