The Olympics is where the best of the best compete to show how their persistence, hard work and passion have paid off. But what happens when these athletes cheat to make their way to the top?
Steroids have always been a problem within ultra-competitive sports. Many teams and players take these performance enhancing drugs giving them an edge over the competition. These drugs have become such a problem that, before tournaments and competitions, players are extensively tested. The first athlete to be banned from attending the Olympics because of doping was Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall in 1968. He was tested positive for excessive alcohol. Because of his actions, the entire Swedish team had to return all of their earned medals.
The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea and will last from February 9th to the 25th. This year, Russia broke the NOCs (National Olympic Committee) anti-doping rules, disappointing both spectators and fans. Since they broke these rules, the NOC has followed through and banned Russian athletes and officials from attending the games on behalf of Russia. The NOC sent invitations to 169 Russian athletes to compete under the title “Olympic Athlete from Russia.” The individuals must compete alone and cannot wear Russian colors or symbols. Additionally, the flag of Russia will not be flown if these athletes medal.
The source of the doping is unclear. There has been speculations that the leader of Russia, Vladimir Putin, being responsible for the doping incident. Regardless, however, the country’s top athletes are dealing with an extremely severe punishment, as since attending the Olympic games is a very prestigious honor. With any luck, this punishment will deter them and any other Olympic athletes from cheating in the future.