Two words that got the International Olympic Committee buzzing this month were Russia and doping. Doping is when athletes take illegal substances that can help them perform better in sports. This month, the World Anti-Doping Agency ruled that Russia would be banned from the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan. Why? Since the 2014 Sochi Olympics, there have been investigations regarding whether Russian athletes were doping at Olympic competitions. Doping is strictly prohibited at events like the Olympics and at most other sporting events around the world.
The news that Russia will be banned from the upcoming Olympics received mixed reactions. The decision was a massive blow to the Russian people, as nobody will be representing the country at one of the most important sporting events in the world. However, many think this isn’t punishment enough. Athletes from Russia will still be able to compete in the Olympics under a neutral flag. When Russian athletes won under a neutral flag at the Winter Olympics in 2018, they were honored in Russia at special ceremonies.
Do you think banning a country from sporting events is enough to show that doping will not be tolerated? What else could sporting event organizers do?
Here are some examples of other countries that have been banned from the Olympics in the past for various reasons:
Austria, Bulgaria, Turkey, Hungary, and Germany
1920: Austria, Bulgaria, Turkey, Hungary, and Germany were banned because of their involvement in World War I.
Germany and Japan
1948: Germany and Japan were banned for their involvement in World War II.
South Africa1964: South Africa was banned for taking part in oppressive apartheid (a system of discrimination). This ban lasted until 1992.
2000: Afghanistan was banned due to discrimination against women and policies prohibiting sports.
2016: Russia was banned for their involvement in doping.