IOC Bans 11 Russian Winter Athletes for Life for Sochi 2014 Doping

Russian bobsledder banned over doping

One of the sharpest cuts in the IOC's decision to ban Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympics came from the decree that no Russian flags or anthems would be displayed during the Games.

Among the athletes who have been sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee are two silver medalists in Sochi 2014, lugers Tatyana Ivanova and Albert Demchenko. Following the country's well-documented doping offences, the IOC ruled this month that only carefully vetted Russians could compete in Pyeongchang as neutral athletes, in uniforms that say "Olympic Athlete from Russia" and/or "OAR".

It's not an Olympic story without a healthy dose of rumor, speculation, and controversy, and the sentiment burbling around Olympic circles is that the Russian athletes' logo is different because the IOC wants to keep Russia from boycotting the Games entirely. However, athletes with clean history of non-doping will be able to take part in the Olympics as neutrals.

In fact, all fonts must be in English and "as generic as possible", and the words "Olympic Athlete from" must be above the word "Russia" on athletes' kits and in the same size of font.

The other athletes banned from future Olympic games include two speedskaters (Ivan Skobrev, a two-time medalist at the 2010 Vancouver Games, and Artem Kuznetcov), three cross-country skiers (Nikita Kryukov, Alexander Bessmertnykh and Natalia Matveeva), two bobsledders (Liudmila Udobkina and Maxim Belugin), and two ice hockey players (Tatiana Burina and Anna Shchukina). He has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Mounting evidence has indicated that the scheme involved senior government officials, including from the Russian sports ministry, with help from secret state agents. We have worked hard over the last seven years to make our dream a reality and now the global sports festival is within reach for us all."Even so the Games remain overshadowed by tensions with the nuclear-armed North, and the Russian national team has been banned over accusations of state-sponsored doping".

Kusnirovich said he was disappointed by the decision to ban Russian Federation from the Olympics.

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