The International Olympic Committee ruled Tuesday that Russia will be completely banned from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics as a result of the country's "unprecedented" doping scandal.

"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," The New York Times reported from Tuesday's IOC meeting in Switzerland. "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."

More than two dozen Russian athletes had already been banned from participation in the wake of a November claim by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that Russia had been non-compliant in anti-doping standards. That followed a year-old investigation into an alleged "state-backed doping program," which suggested Russia had enabled hundreds of Olympic athletes to avoid or skew tests for performance-enhancing drugs.

Many of the same Russians banned from the 2018 Games also had medals retroactively removed from their 2014 Sochi Games competition as part of IOC sanctions. This isn't the first time the IOC has completely barred a nation from competing at the Olympics, but it is a first for doping-relating offenses. 

While Tuesday's announcement clears up Russia's status for the 2018 Winter Games, this story isn't ending anytime soon. Especially with Russia set to host the next World Cup. 

And while the IOC's ruling is a major blow to Russia, it's also a letdown for the 2018 Winter Games, which won't feature any current NHL players and is already facing historically low interest among fans who are leery of traveling to South Korea given rising geopolitical tensions with an increasingly assertive North Korea. 

The United States Olympic Committee released a brief statement on Russia's ban

"The IOC took a strong and principled decision. There were no perfect options, but this decision will clearly make it less likely that this ever happens again. Now it is time to look ahead to PyeongChang."  

On Twitter, reactions to the ruling ran the gamut.