Olympic officials rule Russia is not allowed to participate, as a country, in the 2018 Winter Games.
In an unprecedented move by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the entire country of Russia has been banned from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
This means the entire Russian presence will be gone from the Games, which will be held in Pyeonchang, South Korea in February 2018.
The ruling dictates that no Russian government officials, flags, or anthems will be allowed.
The few Russian athletes that are cleared to participate will be considered individuals, and will have to wear neutral uniforms. Any medals won will not be credited to Russia, effectively making their medal count for 2018: ZERO.
This harsh punishment was doled out by the IOC on Tuesday, after they completed an in-depth review of rampant doping, known to be wide-spread through much of the entire Russian Olympic Team.
The following is a statement from U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Tiger Shaw regarding the IOC decision on Russia participation in the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018:
“U.S. Ski & Snowboard applauds the decision of the IOC today as it demonstrates a strong commitment to the importance of clean sport and the support of clean athletes. On behalf of our athletes, we have a fundamental obligation to fight for fairness in sport, to advocate for the health and welfare of athletes and to protect the image of our sport. Now we look to the International Ski Federation (FIS) to hold a FIS Council meeting to review the IOC's decision and related evidence to consider its impact on the Russian Ski Association, its FIS committee members, officials and athletes.”
While this decision obviously has wide-spread ramifications, fortunately, few medal-contending snowboarders will be affected by this.
Russian Medal Counts from 1998-2014 By Discipline:
2014 Silver: Nikolay Olyunin
Parallel Giant Slalom:
2010 Silver: Yekaterina IIyukhina (Female)
2014 Gold: Vic Wild
2014 Bronze: Alena Zavarzina
2014 Gold: Vic Wild
This is quite the blow to the sputniks.. We have reached out to snowboarders who will be affected by this, and will update this story with more information.