Friday February 9, 2018
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday February 9, 2018
What is OAR and why are Russia not in PyeongChang 2018?
RUSSIA will be represented at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang but their flag will not fly and their athletes will have OAR – not RUS – after their names.
The Russian doping scandal first emerged from the McLaren Report, an independent report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren that identified more than 1,000 Russian competitors who had befitted from a state-sponsored cover-up of athletes who were using performance enhancing drugs.
The first part of the report, commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was released in July 2016 but many sports still allowed Russians to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
However, the second part of the report which was published later in 2016 triggered a massive number of International Olympic Committee (IOC) investigations into Russian athletes and the Russian Olympic Committee was immediately suspended from PyeongChang 2018, with major suspicion also raised over doping at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
The IOC ruled that Russian athletes with a consistent history of drug testing and no history of doping would still be allowed to compete, albeit without the Russian flag or under the auspices of the Russian nation.
Instead those athletes will be represented by the “Olympic Athlete from Russia” logo on their uniforms and the Olympic anthem will be used if they are to win any medals.
Initially, 500 Russian athletes were presented to the IOC for consideration, 111 of whom were immediately dismissed.
However, 169 athletes were eventually invited to compete under the OAR banner – but that number could still rise.
A specific investigation into the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games and allegations of doping during the olympiad handed lifetime bans to 43 Russian athletes.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned 28 of those and partially upheld 11 more appeals.
But 13 of those 28 athletes have now applied to compete at PyeongChang 2018 – requests that have been turned down. (Source: Express.co.uk)