Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics

Per the IOC's official website, the surprising decision was reached after a lengthy inquiry into systematic doping in Russia's program.

Kahron Spearman

In an unprecedented move, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has banned the Russian Olympic Committee, and their team, from participating in the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The IOC, however, is opting to allow clean athletes to participate under the Olympic flag. The decision changes the tone and tenor of the Games, the future of the Olympics, and also the true depth of Russia's commitment to cheating.

As Rebecca R. Ruiz and Tariq Panja of the New York Times reported: "The ruling was the final confirmation that the nation was guilty of executing an extensive state-backed doping program. The scheme was rivaled perhaps only by the notorious program conducted by East Germany throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s"

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.

The conclusions of the long investigation were published in the Schmid Report, which confirmed "the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia."

Dmitry Chernyshenko, a member of the Coordination Commission for the 2022 Beijing games, as well as IOC member Alexander Zhukov, were removed from their positions.