Russian Olympic Ban Development


The Olympic Games have been occurring for decades, and are a symbol of unity within the world. The pinnacle of the Olympic Games is to win a medal for one’s country. The pride established when your national anthem is playing in the midst of the ascending of your country’s flag is simply gigantic. The Games occur every two years, alternating between locations and summer or winter events. With the beginning of a new Olympic Year, there is lots of anticipation for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. However, the recent development of the Russian Team’s exclusion from the Winter Games has led to controversial debates about the integrity of one of the world’s most spectacular event.


According to the New York Times, the reason that Russia received a ban from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was because it was accused of sponsoring and executing a systematic doping program. It is ironic that there will be no Russian uniforms or flags in Pyeongchang since Russia has historically been a great competing power in the Olympics, as exemplified by their relatively high medal counts.


There may be some Russian athletes competing in Pyeongchang, but they will be regarded as neutrals and there will be no Russian national anthem or flag. In addition to suffering this unprecedented punishment for a serious allegation, the New York Post reports that Russia will also have to pay a $15 million dollar fee for its role in a disgusting and unsportsmanship action.


The Russian doping scandal is not a complete surprise due to the fact that the world has seen very troubling actions and decisions by the Kremlin. According to The Guardian, the country has experienced previous bans in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. In addition, the country has even been stripped of some of their medals.


Several Whitman students express their views on this developing story. Jeremy Forman would like to see the Russians compete this year because they are a competitive athletic team. However, he does acknowledge the legitimate reason for the ban. Sophomore Chris Grillo also realizes that the decision is “right for the very serious act of corruption.” Junior Dylan Rehman is still looking forward to the Winter Olympics no matter what the “development of the Russian ban” may entail.  


Ultimately, this development is extremely serious because it determines Russia will essentially not compete in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.