Russia will be completely banned from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics as a result of the country's "unprecedented" doping scandal, The International Olympic Committee ruled today.
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.
BREAKING Someone holds Russia accountable for cheating. cc: @realDonaldTrump https://t.co/UZ7EjggzN0
"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."