Staff Writer JaxGay.com
Russia spent $51 billion on the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, but according to the International Olympic Committee they also engaged in an orchestrated and wide-spread doping effort. As a result, the IOC has just announced Russia will have to pay a $15 million fine and its athletes will be banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
"The country’s government officials are forbidden to attend, its flag will not be displayed at the opening ceremony and its anthem will not sound," The New York Times reports. "Any athletes from Russia who receive special dispensation to compete will do so as individuals wearing a neutral uniform, and the official record books will forever show that Russia won zero medals."
Some athletes will be allowed to compete, but under a neutral banner, not the Russian flag, "provided they can prove they were not involved in a state-sponsored doping programme," The Guardian reports. "Russian athletes invited to compete will compete under the Olympic flag and the Olympic Anthem will be played in any medal ceremony."
The IOC has also banned Russia's minister of sport, Vitaly Mutko, and Yuri Nagornykh, who was the deputy minister during the 2014 Sochi games.
An IOC commission "has been examining for the past 15 months whether there was an 'institutional conspiracy' by Russian officials within the ministry of sport to corrupt the London 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2014 Sochi Winter Games."
The Guardian adds that "many will feel that the IOC has not done enough given the weight of evidence against Russia – and that the IOC has again flinched its responsibilities, just as it did in July 2016 when it decided against banning Russia from last year’s Rio Olympics despite a report from the respected Canadian law professor Richard McLaren which found that the country’s government, security services and sporting authorities colluded to hide widespread doping across 'a vast majority' of winter and summer sports."
The Times explains just how orchestrated the cover up of Russia's doping was:
In an elaborate overnight operation at the 2014 Sochi Games, a team assembled by Russia’s sports ministry tampered with more than 100 urine samples to conceal evidence of top athletes’ steroid use throughout the course of competition. More than two dozen Russian athletes have been disqualified from the Sochi standings as a result, and Olympic officials are still sorting through the tainted results and rescinding medals.
At the coming Games, Mr. Bach said Tuesday, a special medal ceremony will reassign medals to retroactive winners from Sochi.