Russia banned from South Korea Winter Olympics by IOC

Country’s Olympic Committee suspended from upcoming games in South Korea over ‘systemic manipulation’ of doping rules.

International Olympic Committee announces its decision on sanctions for Russian athletes, in Lausanne
The IOC has called Russian doping 'an attack' on the Olympics' integrity [Denis Balibouse/Reuters]

The International Olympic Committee has banned Russia from competing in next year’s Winter Olympics in South Korea over doping allegations.

The Russian Olympic Committee has been suspended from the upcoming games in Pyeongchang, but Russian athletes will still be able to compete “under strict conditions”, the IOC said in a statement.

The decision comes after a 17-month investigation found “the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia”, as well as during the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.

“This was an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport,” Thomas Bach, IOC president, said in a statement.

Vitaly Mutko, Russia’s sport minister, and his deputy, Yuri Nagornykh, also received lifetime bans from participating in any future Olympics.

Alexander Zhukov, ROC president, has also been suspended as a member of the IOC, while Dmitry Chernyshenko, former CEO of Russia’s Sochi Olympics organising committee, has been removed from the commission coordinating the 2022 games in Beijing.

Russian officials will also not receive accreditation for the upcoming Games, the IOC said.


Russia will have to reimburse the IOC for the investigations it conducted into the doping allegations. The IOC also ordered Moscow to pay $15m to establish an Independent Testing Authority to aid the global anti-doping system.

The IOC said it may partially or completely lift the ROC’s suspension as of the start of the PyeongChang Olympics Closing Ceremony next year, “provided these decisions are fully respected and implemented”.

In 2016, a report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found that more than 1,000 Russian athletes were involved in or benefited from a state-sponsored plan to hide positive doping tests.

The cover-up dated back to at least 2011, WADA said, and affected athletes competing at the 2012 Olympics, 2013 world athletics championships and 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi were involved.

The athletes competed in more than 30 sports, including football, the report found.

At the time, WADA called on the IOC to bar Russia from participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.

The country’s track and field team were banned from participating in Rio de Janeiro.

The entire Russian Paralympic team was also banned from the 2016 Paralympic Games. Sir Philip Craven, International Paralympic Committee president, called Russia’s anti-doping system “broken, corrupted and entirely compromised”.

Source: Al Jazeera