NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Don’t look for the Russian flag at the winter Olympics next year.
You won’t hear the Russian national anthem being played either.
That’s because the International Olympic Committee has banned Russia from competing in the February games in Pyeongchang.
The ban is the result of the findings of the IOC’s Schmid Commission, formed in July 2016 to examine the role of Russian officials and institutions in organized doping, and charting their actions leading up to and including the 2014 Sochi games in Russia — which ironically yielded the most total medals for the Russians, 33 — including 13 gold.
There are claims by the former Moscow laboratory director of urine-swapping on the night of February 15th, 2014, where dirty samples were tested in a way they were deemed equal to clean samples.
It’s being called a watershed moment for international sports.
“The report clearly lays out an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic games and sport,” IOC President Thomas Bach said Tuesday. “As an athlete myself, I’m feeling very sorry for all the clean athletes from all NOC’s who are suffering from this manipulation.”
Bach himself was an Olympic fencer for West Germany.
Individual Russian athletes who were not found to be using drugs can compete under the designation “Olympic Athlete From Russia,” with a corresponding uniform. They’ll also march behind the Olympic flag and hear the Olympic anthem during medal ceremonies.
“This should draw a line under this damaging episode,” the IOC said.