Following a 17 month investigation, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Tuesday that it has suspended Russia from competing in the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. To offer some insight, Cosmos Sports & Entertainment President Cary Kaplan was asked to join Global News.
The IOC will allow Russian athletes to compete, however it will be under the Olympic flag. These athletes will be identified as “Olympic Athlete from Russia”. This immediately sparked questions about whether the Russian government would even allow it’s citizens to compete if they weren’t officially representing the country.
In a time when there has been much criticism of the Olympic games and the IOC for scandals such as this and the exorbitant fees for hosting the games, Cosmos President Cary Kaplan commended the IOC on it’s decision. From Cary’s perspective, Russia’s actions are cheating, and can be compared to the repercussions any individual athlete would face if found having partaken in doping.
This is not the first time that a country has been suspended from competing, but many feel that it is the most extensive sanctioning the sporting world has ever seen.
Having been strong contenders in past Winter Olympics, Russia’s absence from the 2018 games will almost certainly have an impact on the final medal standings.