Tuesday's HOT MIC
I.O.C. to Russia: "Nyet."
Russia’s Olympic team has been barred from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The country’s government officials are forbidden to attend, its flag will not be displayed at the opening ceremony and its anthem will not sound. Any athletes from Russia who receive special dispensation to compete will do so as individuals wearing a neutral uniform, and the official record books will forever show that Russia won zero medals.
That was the punishment issued Tuesday to the proud sports juggernaut that has long used the Olympics as a show of global force but was exposed for systematic doping in previously unfathomable ways. The International Olympic Committee, after completing its own prolonged investigations that reiterated what had been known for more than a year, handed Russia penalties for doping so severe they were without precedent in Olympics history.
Longtime Olympic fans might say that this punishment has been warranted for at least forty years. Going back to the Soviet days the rumors and appearances of rampant doping were plentiful.
It's nice to see that the door has been left open for the possibility that some Russians can compete. It has to be devastating to have devoted one's entire life to that point to a solitary pursuit, only to have the pinnacle of that taken away because of the actions of others.