TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Russia's Olympic team has been barred from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
They have been banned from the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea because of evidence of a systematic state-sponsored doping program. This is one of arguably the harshest punishment in Olympic history. However, individual Russian athletes can apply to compete, but they will not be permitted to wear their country's uniform.
Also, Russian officials will not be permitted to attend the games, the country's flag won't appear at the opening ceremony, and its national anthem will not be played.
The 18-year-old two-time world champion Evgenia Medvedev argued to the IOC that the ban unfairly affects athletes who were not involved with the national Olympic team in 2014. Evgenia Medvedev said "I cannot accept the option that I would compete in the Olympic Games without the Russian flag as a neutral athlete. I am proud of my country, it is a great honor for me to represent it at the Games. It gives strength and inspires me during the performances."
The International Olympic Committee's(IOC) decision to ban Russia is the result of a 16-month investigation into evidence Russia had a widespread, systemized cheating problem. In addition, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) released a report on November 4 confirming they had evidence that Russian authorities appeared to have backed a cheating scam with Russian athletes, providing them with performance-enhancing drugs and skewing test results, ensuring that Russian athletes only produced negative tests.