Olympic Shocker: Russia Barred From the 2018 Winter Games Over Doping Scandal

This is a stunner. In what, according to The New York Times is an unprecedented punishment, Russia has been banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea for a massive state-run doping scandal. Russian individual athletes will be allowed to compete in the Games — but they will do so as neutral athletes. They will not compete for Russia. The country will not be allowed to participate in the Opening Ceremony. And the Russian National Anthem will not be played during the Games. The ruling comes after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) opted against banning Russia during the 2016 Summer Games in Rio. The track team was barred from competing, but athletes from other sports were allowed to compete for . “[T]he rules of natural justice, individual justice, to which every human being is entitled, has to be applied,” the IOC said in a statement at the time. “This means that each affected athlete must be given the opportunity to rebut the applicability of collective responsibility in his or her individual case.” That time has apparently elapsed. And the defense was deemed insufficient. And as a result, the nation has been excluded from the Olympics. According to the Times Russia is said to be considering a boycott, now that this action has been taken. Watch IOC President Thomas Bach announce the ruling above, via Canada’s Global News. [featured image via Shutterstock.com] —— Follow Joe DePaolo (@joe_depaolo) on Twitter

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