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South Korea Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 5 Things

Russia has been banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics

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Russia’s Olympic team has been banned from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, according to The New York Times.

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) on Tuesday issued the stiff penalties as part of a ruling cementing Russia as guilty of an extensive state-backed doping program.

The Times on Tuesday reported that Russian government officials are also blacklisted from attending the contests next year.

Russia’s flag will additionally not be displayed during the opening ceremony for the event, and its national anthem will not be played either.

The official Olympic record books will additionally forever show that Russia won zero medals, finalizing a punishment without precedent in the event’s history.

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The IOC’s move means that any Russian athletes who receive a special dispensation to compete in the next Winter Games will do so as individuals wearing a neutral uniform.

IOC President Thomas Bach has said that he was frustrated by not only Russia’s sweeping cheating but how it was accomplished.

A team assembled by Russia’s sports ministry tampered with more than 100 urine samples in an elaborate overnight operation during the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

The effort was designed to mask evidence of top Russian athletes’ steroid use throughout the course of competitions that year.

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More than two dozen Russian athletes have since been disqualified from the Sochi standings as a result of the findings.

Olympic officials are also still sorting through the tainted results and rescinding related medals from the 2014 Games.

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Bach on Tuesday said that at the 2018 games a special medal ceremony will reassign medals to retroactive winners from Sochi.

Legal appeals from the impacted Russian athletes, however, means it remains uncertain if all the results from Sochi will get finalized in time.

Some Russian officials have threatened to boycott the 2018 Games if the IOC delivered such a severe penalty.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy in recent years has focused on the idea that he has saved his nation from embarrassments the West inflicted upon it after the Soviet Union fell.

Dmitri Peskov, who is Putin’s spokesman, had said before Tuesday’s news that no boycott of the next Winter Games was under discussion.

The IOC’s announcement broke late in the evening in Moscow local time, making a quick official reaction unlikely.

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