Let’s get this straight at the outset.
The International Olympic Committee’s unprecedented Tuesday decision on Russian participation at the 2018 Winter Olympics is, as yet, no big deal in any way eventual followers of the upcoming Games will find significant.
The IOC did not ban Russian athletes for the country’s involvement in systemic doping. It banned a symbol, depriving Russia of the chance to show its flag or have its medalists honored with their national anthem or wear the country’s name on their uniforms. Russian athletes undoubtedly will win medals of all colors, and, despite all the feel-good mantras about participating in the Olympics, results are what count.
Yes, it’s the first time such an action has been taken against an entire country because of doping.
But the IOC already has made its most important decisions regarding Russian Winter Olympic athletes by banning and taking medals from many involved in manipulation of tests at the Sochi Olympics. If all these athletes lose their medals after appeals are exhausted, it will knock down Russia’s official medal count for the 2014 Olympics from 33 to 22.Read More