By Erioc King-
Russia has been banned from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang by the International Olympic Committee.
Although some The historic ruling is a blow to Russia and its many potent athletes who will be forced to watch the games from the armchair of their sitting rooms like none athletes with no chance of participating in the unuversally celebrated games.
Some athletes will be allowed to compete under a neutral flag, having being granted exceptions.
The IOC also handed a lifetime ban to the country’s deputy prime minister, Vitaly Mutko, preventing him from having any involvement in the Olympic Games.
The Russian government also has to to pay $15m towards a new Independent Testing Authority and reimburse the cost of their investigations. The news is a monumental setback to Russia, recently exposed for deceptively using Twitter accounts to affect electoral outcomes. Russia has always vehemently denied exploiting electoral outcomes, but the latest Twitter revelations confirms the allegations against Russain
The head of the IOC, Thomas Bach, announced the decision in a press conference in Lausanne, Switzerland on Tuesday. “This was an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport,” he said.
“The IOC, after following due process, has issued proportional sanctions for this systemic manipulation while protecting the clean athletes. The IOC head expressed sympathy for clean athletes who will be affected by the ruling, but promised to explore ways to compensate innocent Russian Athletes.
“As an athlete myself, I feel very sorry for all the clean athletes from all NOCs who are suffering from this manipulation. Working with the IOC Athletes’ Commission, we will now look for opportunities to make up for the moments they have missed on the finish line or on the podium.”
Vladimir Putin is expected to respond in the next 24 hours , and many expect that Russia will decide to boycott the Winter Olympics and withdraw any competitors from taking part as authorized neutral athletes, an option he had previously described as a “humiliating compromise”.
ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIP BAN
Russia was barred from London’s Athletics World Championships this year in the wake of the McLaren report, which revealed details of a state-sponsored doping programme. A subsequent Schmid report confirmed a “systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia” citing a lack of effort to address the issue, forcing the IOC to take action.
IOC commission chairman Samuel Schmid found that doping was fully endorsed by the Russian sports ministry, of which Vladimir Putin’s deputy Mutko was in charge up until October 2016. Russia will now have to seriously reflect on some of the sytemic malpractice exercised by its influential people.
The McLaren report and the Schmid report did not accuse the Kremlin directly of endorsing any of the malpractice that has led to the various actions taking against the country’s athlete, given the lack of evidence to support any allegation of their knowledge. However, Russia will be feeling the pinch of the ruling.