December 10, 2017 – FRN –
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has ruled that Russian athletes can only compete under a neutral flag in South Korea in February 2018. Competing as neutrals without a national team means that athletes will not take part in the opening ceremony, and their country’s anthem will not be played when they win medals. Russian President Vladimir Putin described the option as a “humiliating” response of the IOC.
Earlier, President Putin stipulated that banning Russia from the Games is a political move, based on the fact that it is only one month out from the Russian Presidential Elections in 2018.
In 2016, a World Anti-Doping-Agency (WADA) commissioned report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren found that “more than 1,000 Russian competitors in more than 30 sports were involved in a conspiracy to conceal positive drug tests over a period of five years.” The report was commissioned on the personal testimony of the ex-director of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Grigory Rodchenkov, who’s moral and ethical code, as well as mental health, Vladimir Putin called “questionable”. The full story can be read here: The Olympics as a Tool of the New Cold War
Putin suggested that allegations of a state-sponsored doping program in Russia is an attempt to sow discontent ahead of the country’s presidential elections, and retaliation for alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. election. At that, the IOC report acknowledges that no Russian state-sponsored doping programme exists.
Despite that, the entire Russian team has been blanket- banned from representing their country. Go Figure.
Inessa Sinchougova is an Editor and Journalist at Fort Russ News, as well as a research fellow and translator of the Belgrade based think-tank, the Center for Syncretic Studies. She was educated at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand), in the field of Political Science and was previously employed in Marketing and Communications Strategy for a Multi-National Corporation. She runs a popular YouTube channel for translations of key Russian Foreign Policy figures and appears regularly on other alternative media channels. If you like her work, you can support her Patreon here.