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Russia Has Been Sensationally Banned From The Next Winter Olympics

IOC crackdown

Russia Has Been Sensationally Banned From The Next Winter Olympics

The upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea will be minus any Russian flags or anthems, after the IOC decided to boot the nation from being allowed to compete. 

The decision comes after a 16 month investigation into systematic doping practices in the country, including manipulation of samples at the 2014 Games in Sochi.

"This was an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport," IOC President Thomas Bach said.

In a nutshell, it means Russia as a nation cannot be officially represented at the Games. All officials have been barred from taking part, while the only athletes allowed to compete will be those who can prove they're clean... and they won't actually be allowed to compete as Russians! Instead, the athletes will be welcome to compete as neutrals under the label Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)". 

The IOC also handed a life ban from the Games to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, the sports minister in 2014, and chief organiser of next year's soccer World Cup.

Russia has also been handed a $US 15 million fine to pay for investigations and fund future anti-doping measures.

Within hours of the announcement, Russia has started reacting, with the country's state broadcaster declaring none of the Games will be broadcast on television because of the ban.