Russia Banned From Competing in the Olympics…Again


     Have you ever watched the Olympics these past few years and thought, why do the Russian athletes not compete in their home country’s name? Instead, they represent the ROC (Russian Olympic Committee). This is due to a very scandalous history and has been ongoing for years.

Why were the Russians banned?

     The Russians were formally banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 2017 after investigations revealed that Russian athletes were using performance-enhancing drugs during the games. In 2016, an informant from the Russians revealed to the authorities that the doping was state funded. They revealed that between 2011 and 2015, more than 643 positive test results were from Russian athletes. This shocked the international community and ultimately 28 Russian athletes were banned for life from the games. These drug tests have shaken up the games as Russians continue to participate under the ROC.

What is the ROC?

    The Russian Olympic Committee is the name that Russian athletes compete under at the 2018 winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. This committee was created to bypass the ban on Russia from competing. All of the athletes from Russia were permitted to participate, even some of the 28 who received a lifetime ban. This was because Russia had appealed to the WADA. Until the ban is over, these athletes will need to participate under the ROC name.  

What does this mean for Russia’s future at the Olympics?

      Russia’s uncertain future at the Olympics continues to worsen as the invasion of Ukraine earlier this year sparked more international debate over barring Russian athletes. The Russian ban will be lifted on December 16th, 2022 and many countries have voted to extend the ban due to the ongoing political situation in Ukraine. Until this war in Ukraine will come to an end, Russian and Belarussian athletes are barred from competing. The ROC has put a statement calling for the ban to be lifted as they claim that sports are separate from politics. 

     Ultimately, it will be up to the international community to decide when Russia will compete in the next games. Many believe that due to the political crisis that is ongoing, they should uphold the ban. On the other hand, many believe that Russians athletes should be allowed to compete because their government instigated the war, not them.