Russia enraged by 2018 Winter Olympics ban over doping

Prominent Russians expressed anger, despair and resentment on Wednesday after the International Olympic Committee’s decision to ban the Russian Federation from the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

The ban is a historic act of punishment for widespread doping among Russian athletes that Olympic officials believe was supported by the government.

It was a body blow for a nation that prides itself on its sporting prowess and was ecstatic over its victory in the 2014 Winter Olympics medal count. Just four years later, the Russian Federation’s count will be zero, and the country is considering a boycott. 

Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader celebrated in the West for helping end the Cold War, called the IOC decision “outrageous.” The decision would ban Russia’s flag and anthem but allow individual athletes to compete under a special designation, as Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR).

“It’s just bad, and that’s it,” Gorbachev told the state sport news agency, R-Sport. “It’s sport, damn it.”

Russian lawmakers, often the vanguard of public outrage, demanded punishments. Some turned on their own. One filed suit against Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko for “demeaning the honor of the country.” (Mutko was also slapped with a lifetime Olympic ban on Tuesday.)

Several prominent journalists and commentators, notably

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