IOC freezes out Russia

The IOC dropped the hammer on Russia’s participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, citing “systematic manipulation” of anti-doping rules to ban the Russian presence at the event, with officials not allowed to attend the event, the Russian flag excluded from display, and Russian athletes who are given permission to attend only competing under a neutral flag.

“This was an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport,” IOC president Thomas Bach said, per the AP. “The IOC EB [executive board], after following due process, has issued proportional sanctions for this systemic manipulation while protecting the clean athletes. This should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system led by WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency].”

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