What Does the Ban on Russia from the Winter Olympics Mean?


The International Olympic Committee has suspended the Russian Olympic Committee “with immediate effect,” effectively banning the country from the upcoming Winter Olympics. (NPR)

What Winter Olympic athletes are the most fit?

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The Russian delegation enters the Opening Ceremony of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Photograph courtesy the President of Russia

Discussion Ideas






  • What does the new IOC suspension mean?
    • Russian athletes are entirely banned from the 2018 Paralympics.
    • Russian officials are forbidden to attend the games, Russian athletes will not walk in the opening ceremony or compete as a team, Russia’s flag will not be displayed, and its anthem will not be played.
    • The eligibility of individual Russian athletes will be assessed by the IOC and the individual governing bodies of their sports (such as the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation or the International Skating Union).
    • Athletes who pass scrutiny will wear a uniform bearing their name and the inscription “Olympic Athlete from Russia.” Should the athlete win a medal, the Olympic flag will be displayed and the Olympic Anthem will be played.
    • Russia will have to pay $15 million to the IOC to fund the anti-doping investigation and contribute to the establishment of a new Independent Testing Authority (ITA).
    • If Russia “respects and implements” what the IOC has called for, the sanctions may be lifted in time for the closing ceremony.


  • When and where can we watch “Olympic athletes from Russia” and other competitors at the next Olympic Games?
    • The XXIII Olympic Winter Games will be held February 9 through February 25 in PyeongChang, South Korea. Keep up with the schedule and latest news here.
    • Events most impacted by the suspension include biathlon, cross-country skiing, figure skating, skeleton, and speed skating. Keep an eye on those, competition may be more intense there.



NPR: Russia Is Banned From 2018 Olympics; Athletes Told To Compete Under Olympic Flag

New York Times: Russia Banned from Winter Olympics by I.O.C.

BBC: Russian doping: IOC bans Russia from 2018 Winter Olympics

New York Times: Russian Doctor Explains How He Helped Beat Doping Tests at the Sochi Olympics

Nat Geo: Winter Olympic Athletes: Who is Fittest?

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