Russia Banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics

Leah Hickman | Contributor to | Monday, December 11, 2017

Russia Banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics

Last week, the International Olympic Committee banned the Russian Olympic team from participating in the 2018 Winter Games. According to the New York Times, “The country’s government officials are forbidden to attend, its flag will not be displayed at the opening ceremony and its anthem will not sound.”

This banishment comes in response to extensive doping among Russian athletes. The Russian state has concealed and even promoted this illegal drug use among the Russian athletes. As the New York Times reports, the concealment of Russian doping in previous competitions was made possible by “corrupting the Olympic laboratory that handled drug testing at the Games, and on orders from Russia’s own Olympic officials.”

In Sochi in 2014, the Russian sports ministry “tampered with more than 100 urine samples to conceal evidence of top athletes’ steroid use throughout the course of competition.” As a result, some Russian athletes have recently been disqualified from the 2014 games. After Olympic officials finish working through the corrected results, they will award medals to “retroactive winners from Sochi.”

Although the Russian team is barred from the 2018 Winter Games, Russian athletes who have not violated the anti-doping policies may still “petition for permission to compete in neutral uniforms.” They would compete under the title “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” and they will be prevented from flying the Russian flag.

In an interesting analysis from late last week, Rebecca R. Ruiz observes that the Russian attempts at athletic dominance have aligned with President Vladimir Putin’s desires to “reclaim Russia’s past” and subsequently weaken Western democracy. In this case, the warped desires of the leaders have surely hurt an entire nation.


Leah Hickman is a 2017 graduate of Hillsdale College’s English program. She has written pieces for multiple Hillsdale College campus publications as well as for,, and the Discover Laura Blog. Read more by Leah at

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Publication date: December 11, 2017

Russia Banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics