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Russia Barred from the 2018 Olympic Games

Photo+Credit%3A+CNN-+%0ARussian+athletes+will+have+to+compete+under+a+neutral+flag+rather+than+the+flag+of+their+own+country.
Photo Credit: CNN- 
Russian athletes will have to compete under a neutral flag rather than the flag of their own country.

Photo Credit: CNN- Russian athletes will have to compete under a neutral flag rather than the flag of their own country.

Photo Credit: CNN- Russian athletes will have to compete under a neutral flag rather than the flag of their own country.

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The 2018 Olympics begin on Friday, February 9, in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Many countries will be represented at these Olympics, however, some countries will not be represented. One of these countries is Russia due to their problems with synthetic steroids. Russia’s government officials will not be present and their flag and anthem will not be shown in the ceremonies. Any athletes from Russia that are allowed to compete will wear a neutral uniform. This means that the official medal count for Russia will be totaled at zero.

The reason that Russia is unable to compete is because their athletes were caught doping, using synthetic drugs the help enhance their performance in past Olympic games. However, Russian athletes who have a history of negative drug tests are allowed to petition for competition. According to the New York Times, “Any of its athletes competing under a neutral flag will be referred to as Olympic Athletes from Russia.”

The president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, stated, “This decision should draw a line under this damaging episode.” He was also very upset that the actual doping was not caught. The way that Russia was able to get away with this for the time they did was due to corruption of Russian Olympic officials.

At the Sochi games in 2014, the KGB went in to the testing labs and tampered with over 100 urine samples. As a result of these actions, over two dozen athletes from Russia have been removed from the Olympic standings. Russian officials are also still looking into these results of removing metals from athletes.

Russian government officials have also received punishment for the doping scandal. Russian deputy prime minister, Vitaly Mutko, has been officially banned for life from the Olympics. This could lead to him being removed as Russia’s president of the World Cup Committee. Some Russian officials believe that these charges are too heavy or are wrongly charged. The Telegraph reported that “Russia, which has repeatedly denied state-sponsored doping, had threatened to boycott February’s Games if the IOC forced its athletes to compete as neutrals.”

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has yet to admit that Russia had an illegal doping program like the one they have been accused of perpetrating. President Putin did say that this commotion will not prevent Russian athletes from competing. “Undoubtedly, we will not declare any blockade, will not prevent our Olympic athletes from participating, if any one of them wants to participate in their personal capacity.” Other officials have been talking about a boycott and this may be seen in the future.

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Russia Barred from the 2018 Olympic Games