Russia Banned From 2018 Winter Olympics for Unprecedented Doping

It's being reported that the entirety of Russia's Olympic team has been banned from competing in the 2018 Winter Games to take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

According to reports, the International Olympic Committee handed down this punishment to the Russian team as a result of discovering "systematic doping" that they believe to be state-backed.

Russian officials are barred from attending the games, the Russian flag will not be flown or displayed, and the Russian anthem will not be played, per a New York Times story.

However, Russian athletes are not completely prohibited from competing, as some might receive special dispensation. In the event they do, they will compete while wearing a neutral uniform and if they win any medals the official Olympic records will not reflect as Russian state wins.

These few exceptions will not have any easy time, though, as they will have to prove that they have a history of frequent and valid drug testing.

Additionally, Thomas Bach, the president of International Olympic Committee, revealed that there will actually be a special ceremony to re-distribute the medals that were awarded at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

This is due to the Russian athletes being stripped of their medals from those games after the mass doping discovery.

Officials from Russia have argued that the country has been trying to reverse the doping issue and they deserve a second chance, as well as help from the Olympic Committee to solve the problem.

Vitaly Stepanov, one of the chief whistle-blowers in Russia's alleged doping scheme, disagreed with the claims that Russia was trying to resolve the situation. “The world knows that hundreds of Olympic dreams have been stolen by the doping system in the country where I was born," Mr. Stepanov wrote. “The evidence is clear, that the doping system in Russia has not yet been truly reformed.”