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Russian Athletes Banned From 2018 Winter Olympics

A+boy+waves+a+Russian+flag+in+Olympic+Park+at+the+Winter+Olympics+in+Sochi%2C+Russia%2C+on+Wednesday%2C+Feb.+19%2C+2014.+The+International+Olympic+Committee+has+banned+Russia+from+competing+in+the+2018+Winter+Olympics+in+Pyeongchang%2C+South+Korea.+%28Brian+Cassella%2FChicago+Tribune%2FTNS%29
A boy waves a Russian flag in Olympic Park at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. The International Olympic Committee has banned Russia from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

A boy waves a Russian flag in Olympic Park at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. The International Olympic Committee has banned Russia from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Photo by TNS

Photo by TNS

A boy waves a Russian flag in Olympic Park at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. The International Olympic Committee has banned Russia from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Story by Joseph Rodgers, news editor

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Russia’s Olympic team has been banned from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, after the International Olympic Committee concluded its investigation of the doping scandal during the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and concluded that Russia was guilty of executing an extensive state-sponsored doping program. This follows after around 120 Russian athletes were banned from the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.

The punishment is so severe that it is unprecedented in Olympic history. Russian officials are prohibited from attending and Russia will not be recognized in any way at the event. However, Russian athletes may receive a special exemption that will allow them to attend and compete but in a neutral way, representing no country. The IOC will evaluate each athlete on a case-by-case basis.

The Kremlin has already announced that Russian athletes will not be prohibited from competing independently, but Vladimir Putin claims that the ban was “politically motivated.”

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