February 9th marks the start of the 2018 Winter Olympics which is held in South Korea. People all over the world have been looking forward to this event for a long time. This year, the Olympic games will be different, mainly for Russian athletes because many are unable to participate.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has banned Russia as a nation this year for the winter games in PyeongChang, South Korea. Investigations have established that members of the Russian government have been involved with the doping scandal. Russian officials’ have been blamed for their lack of cooperation with global sports regulators and their failure to acknowledge the evidence of organized cheating from approximately two years ago at the summer Olympics held in Rio.
The Russian organizations Anti Doping education and drug testing gives assurance in its ability to distinguish between clean and corrupted athletes. Olympic officials who banned Russia, gave 169 Russian athletes special clearance to compete.
Russia will be sending the 169 athletes to PyeongChang to compete as “neutrals,” participating under the Olympic flag, while their national team remains suspended. This means that they will not be representing their nation. They will be able to compete in five sports at the Winter Games consisting of alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and wheelchair curling. The upcoming 2018 Olympic Games may not be one to remember for the Russian’s, luckily some athletes will be able to compete as neutral athletes.