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Russian Olympic Committee Suspended

It was an unprecedented announcement that that International Olympic Committee made, but it was the right one.

The IOC announced on Tuesday afternoon that they had suspended the Russian Olympic Committee due to the state sponsored doping scandal from 2010-2015. During that time, it is alleged that Russia swapped at least 600 dirty urine samples for clean ones.

Along with the suspension of the ROC, the IOC suspended IOC member Alexander Zhukov as well as the Russian Deputy Minister Vilaty Mutko from the Olympics for life. Mutko was the sports minister in 2014 and is the head of the organizing committee of soccer’s World Cup in Russia in 2018. There is also a fine of $15 million that will pay for investigations into the case and toward future anti-doping work.

Twenty-Five Russian athletes who competed in the 2014 Sochi Games have received lifetime bans for doping. Russia is steadfast in the denial of any state involvement.

While the Russian IOC is suspended we will still see some athletes from Russia competing at the upcoming Olympics as the IOC will allow those who are considered “clean” to compete under a neutral flag in Pyeongchang Games. That neutral flag will be called the “Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) and will wear a uniform bearing that name and under the Olympic Flag.

For those athletes that win a gold medal they will have the Olympic Anthem played at the medal ceremony.

Depending on how Russia responds to the sanctions they could see their suspension lifted following the conclusion of the Pyeongchang Games but until then we wait to see which athletes will be eligible to participate and if KHL players from other countries can represent their home country.

The sanctions could be challenged at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.



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