While the International Olympic Committee considers whether Russia might boycott the Olympics even if it isn't banned, according to a report from The New York Times. Dozens of Russian athletes have already been in the upcoming Olympics in South Korea., the country
With information from diaries written by a chemist who fueled illegal doping by Russian athletes, the Times' Rebecca Ruiz said Tuesday that the International Olympic Committee is convinced of "the state's involvement in the massive sports fraud." But even if an all-out ban of Russia isn't exacted when the committee shares the findings of its investigation on Dec. 5, Ruiz added that Russia would consider skipping out on the Winter Games altogether.
"If they do not bar Russia completely from the coming Winter Olympics," Ruiz wrote of the committee, "they are likely to keep all Russian emblems out of the Games: The Russian flag would not fly at the opening and closing ceremony, Russian athletes would compete in neutral uniforms and the Russian anthem would not be played. Such restrictions, Russian officials have said, would be tantamount to an outright ban, and Russia would consider boycotting the 2018 Olympics."
The chemist at the center of the Russian doping scandal, Grigory Rodchenkov, has said he was the architect of a massive state-run doping progam that helped Russia's athletes gain an edge by using banned substances. From the Times' report:
His diaries cataloging 2014 and 2015 — his final years as Russia's antidoping lab chief before he fled to the United States — provide a new level of detail about Russia's elaborate cheating at the last Winter Games and the extent to which, he says, the nation's government and Olympic officials were involved.
Rodchenkov's unveiling as the mastermind of Russia's doping program is captured in the Netflix documentary "Icarus" which won best documentary at the Sundance Film Festival
In that regard, steering clear of the Olympics sure comes off like Russia trying to flip the script and pin the Olympic Committee as the villain in this scenario, even though each day has brought a new wave of Russian athletes found to have used illegal substances in prior Games. Eleven different Olympic medals have been redacted from Russia up to this point, and the chemist whose diaries fueled the Times report may have tampered with "more than 100 incriminating urine samples in Sochi," Ruiz said.