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Was the IOC’s punishment of Russia fair?

Screenshot from CBC News' YouTube video: Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang

Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee suspended the Russian Olympic Committee over the doping scandal in which Russia was involved. Over 1,000 athletes benefited from a doping scheme between 2011 and 2014 in both summer and winter sports. To date, 25 Russian competitors have been disqualified from the Sochi winter games. In addition to the committee being suspended, the IOC also suspended the Russian Olympic Committee and IOC member Alexander Zhukov, and also banned Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko from the Olympics for life. Russia will also be fined $15 million to cover the costs of the investigation. Thomas Bach, the IOC president, issued a statement that was reported on by CBS News, “This was an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport.”

Russian athletes will be allowed to compete as neutral athletes. They will be referred to as Olympic Athletes from Russia, will compete under the Olympic flag, and have the Olympic anthem played at medal ceremonies. This severe punishment raises a question: Is the punishment, issued by the IOC, a fair punishment for the Russian doping scandal?

CBC News covering the banning of Russia from the Olympics:

The Issue

Was the IOC’s punishment of Russia fair? Was Russia caught cheating and needed to pay the price for their actions? Or, is this a major overreaction by the IOC and a cruel punishment to everyone, including the innocent?

Page 2: Arguments for the IOC’s punishment of Russia

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