Russia’s Olympic team has been banned from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea for systematic doping. Any athletes who are allowed to compete will be required to wear a neutral uniform.
The International Olympic Committee announced the ban Tuesday afternoon.
The announcement read, in part, “The conclusions of the Schmid Report, on both factual and legal aspects, ‘confirmed the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia, through the Disappearing Positive Methodology and during the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, as well as the various levels of administrative, legal and contractual responsibility, resulting from the failure to respect the respective obligations of the various entities involved.'”
How we got here
Moscow had rejected any accusations of institutionalized doping, as suggested by the independent reports by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren in 2015, which concluded that more than 1,000 athletes benefited from a systematic doping program across 30 sports between 2011 and 2015.
An IOC panel last month expunged and barred 25 Russian athletes (22 of whom were medal winners) from participating at PyeongChang for doping violations at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.
This has subsequently seen Russia — an Olympic powerhouse — drop retrospectively from first place in the medal table at the 2014 Winter Olympics to fourth position.
Anti-doping agencies from around the globe put pressure on the IOC to hold Russia accountable for the doping scandal which has overshadowed athletics.