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Russia in Olympics

Abigail Wallace, Page Editor

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Many countries participated in the 2018 Winter Olympics; however, one was notably absent. Russia was found guilty of a state-sponsored doping program and was banned from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics. In all, 47 athletes and coaches were banned from participating.

The investigation began with a television documentary in 2014 that accused Russia of supplying its athletes with performance-enhancing drugs. A year later, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspended Russia indefinitely from world track and field events.

Federal Security Service (FSB) agents allegedly tampered with more than 100 urine samples.

While Russia was banned from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics, athletes with no drug violations were able to compete. They competed under ‘Olympic Athletes from Russia’ (OAR).

Russian officials were banned from these Olympics and their flag and anthem will not be used. The OAR athletes had the Olympic song played and the Olympic flag presented, as well as a different symbol on their uniforms.

Overall, 169 Russians were allowed to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Moving forward, at the Court of Arbitration hearing, it was decided that Russian athletes are not banned from all future Olympics, just from the 2018 Winter Olympic season.

Some athletes have had their Olympic medals stripped because of failed doping tests. Curler Alexander Krushelnitsky had his bronze medal stripped of him after he tested positive for the heart drug meldonium. The drug would allow his body to burn off glucose for energy instead of fat, which is optimal when shooting for maximum performance because it produces more energy.

Overall, the OAR team won 17 medals, including two golds, with the third largest team. The two golds were won by figure skater Alina Zagitova and the men’s hockey team. This was one of the worst top-line performance from a Russian team.

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Russia in Olympics