Olympic Athletes from Russia at the 2018 Winter Olympics

Summary

Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) was the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) designation of select Russian athletes permitted to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The designation was instigated following the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee after the Russian doping scandal. This was the second time that Russian athletes had participated under the neutral Olympic flag, the first being in the Unified Team of 1992.

Olympic Athletes from Russia at the
2018 Winter Olympics
The Olympic flag, used by OAR
IOC codeOAR
in Pyeongchang, South Korea
9–25 February 2018
Competitors168 in 15 sports
Flag bearer Volunteer
Medals
Ranked 13th
Gold
2
Silver
6
Bronze
9
Total
17
Winter Olympics appearances (overview)
Other related appearances
 Soviet Union (1956–1988)
 Unified Team (1992)
 Russia (1994–2014)
 ROC (2022)
Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, meets Russian athletes, 31 January 2018

During the 2018 Winter Olympics, two athletes from this team tested positive for banned substances and were found guilty of doping by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Both were sanctioned by the IOC and their results were annulled as a consequence of the ruling.

BackgroundEdit

Russian doping allegationsEdit

In December 2014, German public broadcaster ARD aired a documentary which made wide-ranging allegations that Russia organized a state-run doping program which supplied their athletes with performance-enhancing drugs.[1] In November 2015, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published a report and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspended Russia indefinitely from world track and field events.[2]

In May 2016, The New York Times published allegations by the former director of Russia's anti-doping laboratory, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, that a conspiracy of corrupt anti-doping officials, Federal Security Service (FSB) intelligence agents, and compliant Russian athletes used banned substances to gain an unfair advantage during the Games. Rodchenkov stated that the FSB tampered with over 100 urine samples as part of a cover-up, and that a third of the Russian medals won at Sochi were the result of doping.[3][4][5] On 18 July 2016, an independent investigation commissioned by WADA concluded that it was shown "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the RUSADA, the Ministry of Sport, the FSB and the Centre of Sports Preparation of the National Teams of Russia had "operated for the protection of doped Russian athletes" within a "state-directed failsafe system" using "the disappearing positive [test] methodology". According to the McLaren Report, the Disappearing Positive Methodology operated from "at least late 2011 to August 2015". It was used on 643 positive samples, a number that the authors consider "only a minimum" due to limited access to Russian records.[6]

On 9 December 2016, Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren published the second part of his independent report. The investigation found that from 2011 to 2015, more than 1,000 Russian competitors in various sports (including summer, winter, and Paralympic sports) benefited from the cover-up.[4][5][7] Following the release of the McLaren report, the IOC announced the initiation of an investigation of 28 Russian athletes at the Sochi Olympic Games. La Gazzetta dello Sport reported the names of 17 athletes, of whom 15 are among the 28 under investigation.[8] As of late December 2017, 13 medals had been stripped and 43 Russian athletes had been disqualified for competition in 2018.[9] The number of athletes under investigation rose to 36 (and eventually 46) in December.[10]

Russia has denied the existence of a doping program with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, blaming the United States for "using the Olympics to meddle in the Russian presidential election".[11]

Official sanctionsEdit

 
Approved OAR logo

On 5 December 2017, the IOC announced that the Russian Olympic Committee had been suspended from the 2018 Winter Olympics with immediate effect. Athletes who had no previous drug violations and a consistent history of drug testing were to be allowed to compete under the Olympic Flag as an "Olympic Athlete from Russia" (OAR).[12] Under the terms of the decree, Russian government officials were barred from the Games, and neither the country's flag nor anthem would be present (the Olympic Flag and Olympic Anthem would be used instead).[13] On 20 December 2017 the IOC proposed an alternative logo for the OAR athletes' uniforms (shown on right).[14] IOC President Thomas Bach said that "after following due process [the IOC] has issued proportional sanctions for this systematic manipulation while protecting the clean athletes".[15]

As of January 2018, the IOC had sanctioned 43 Russian athletes from the 2014 Winter Olympics and banned them from competing in the 2018 edition and all other future Olympic Games as part of the Oswald Commission. All but one of these athletes appealed against their bans to CAS. The court overturned the sanctions on 28 athletes, meaning that their Sochi medals and results were reinstated, but decided that there was sufficient evidence against eleven of the athletes to uphold their Sochi sanctions. The IOC said in a statement that "the result of the CAS decision does not mean that athletes from the group of 28 will be invited to the Games. Not being sanctioned does not automatically confer the privilege of an invitation" and that "this [case] may have a serious impact on the future fight against doping". The IOC were careful to note that the CAS Secretary General "insisted that the CAS decision does not mean that these 28 athletes are innocent" and that they would consider an appeal against the court's decision. The court also decided that none of the 39 athletes should be banned from all future Olympic Games, but only the 2018 Games. Three of the 42 Russian athletes that originally appealed are still waiting for their hearing, which will be conducted after the 2018 Games.[16]

An original pool of 500 Russian athletes was put forward for consideration for the 2018 Games and 111 were immediately removed from consideration. The remaining athletes had to meet pre-games conditions such as further pre-games tests and reanalysis from stored samples. Only if these requirements were met would the athletes be considered for invitation to the Games. None of the athletes who had been sanctioned by the Oswald Commission were still in the pool at this stage.[17] The final number of neutral Russian athletes invited to compete was 169[18] and, after speed skater Olga Graf dropped out, the eventual total was 168.

Reaction in RussiaEdit

 
Russian ice hockey players present Putin a signed jersey, 31 January 2018
 
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev with medal winners from Russia, 28 February 2018
 
Alina Zagitova was awarded the Order of Friendship after the Games

In the past, the Russian president Vladimir Putin and other officials had stated that it would be an embarrassment for Russia if its athletes were not allowed to compete under the Russian flag.[19] However, his spokesman later revealed that no boycott had actually been discussed prior to the IOC's decision.[12] After the announcement, Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Chechnya, announced that none of the Chechen athletes would be permitted to participate under a neutral flag.[20]

On 6 December, Putin stated that his government were prepared to allow Russian athletes to compete at the Games as individuals, but there were still calls from other Russian politicians for a boycott.[21][22] Gennady Zyuganov, leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, proposed to send fans to the Games with a Soviet Victory Banner.[23] Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, suggested that the United States "fears honest competition";[24] while Vladimir Putin was of the opinion that the United States had used its influence within the IOC to "orchestrate the doping scandal".[25] He called the IOC decision an unfair "collective punishment", saying "It all looks like an absolutely orchestrated and politically motivated decision. For me, there are no doubts about this."[26]

The popular Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda reported that 86% of Russians opposed participating in the Olympics under a neutral flag,[27] and many Russian fans attended the Games wearing the Russian colours and chanting "Russia!" in unison, in an act of defiance against the ban.[28] After the games, Russian figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva revealed in an Instagram post that the Russian tricolor was hidden on the OAR medal ceremony uniforms underneath a white fur scarf buttoned on the front of the jacket.[citation needed]

CriticismEdit

The International Ice Hockey Federation voiced support for allowing the full participation of "all clean Russian athletes" in the 2018 Winter Games,[29] calling on the IOC to refrain from imposing "collective punishment".[30]

The IOC's decision was heavily criticized by Jack Robertson, who was primary investigator of the Russian doping program on behalf of WADA. Robertson argued that the IOC had issued "a non-punitive punishment meant to save face while protecting the [IOC's] and Russia's commercial and political interests". He also highlighted the fact that Russian whistleblowers proved beyond doubt that "99 percent of [their] national-level teammates were doping". According to Robertson, "[WADA] has discovered that when a Russian athlete [reaches] the national level, he or she [has] no choice in the matter: [it is] either dope, or you're done". He added "There is currently no intelligence I have seen or heard about that indicates the state-sponsored doping program has ceased."[31] It was also reported that Russian officials intensively lobbied US politicians in an apparent attempt to secure Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov's extradition to Russia (Rodchenkov being the main whistleblower).[32]

The CAS decision to overturn the life bans of 28 Russian athletes and restore their medals was fiercely criticised by Olympic officials, including IOC president Thomas Bach who said the decision was "extremely disappointing and surprising". Whistleblower Rodchenkov's lawyer stated that "the CAS decision would allow doped athletes to escape without punishment",[33] also that "[the CAS decision] provides yet another ill-gotten gain for the corrupt Russian doping system generally, and Putin specifically".[34]

Failed doping testsEdit

Curler Alexander Krushelnitskiy failed his doping test after winning bronze in the mixed doubles curling as he tested positive for meldonium. This is a drug used for treating heart conditions such as angina, chronic heart failure, cardiomyopathy and other cardiovascular disorders. It has the effect of increasing blood flow and can lead to an improvement in endurance. Meldonium was placed on WADA's list of substances banned from use by athletes two years previously.[35][36] He later received a four-year suspension.[37] Norway was subsequently awarded the bronze medal for the mixed doubles curling event.

Nadezhda Sergeeva, a bobsleigh pilot, tested positive for trimetazidine, which is also included in WADA's list of banned substances. She placed 12th in the women's competition.[38]

MedalistsEdit

CompetitorsEdit

The following is the list of number of competitors that could participate at the Games per sport/discipline.

Sport Men Women Total
Alpine skiing 3 2 5
Biathlon 2 2 4
Bobsleigh 6 4 10
Cross-country skiing 7 5 12
Curling 1 6 7
Figure skating 7 8 15
Freestyle skiing 10 12 22
Ice hockey 25 23 48
Luge 7 1 8
Nordic combined 1 0 1
Short track speed skating 3 4 7
Skeleton 2 0 2
Ski jumping 4 4 8
Snowboarding 9 7 16
Speed skating 1 2 3
Total 88 80 168

Alpine skiingEdit

Russia has qualified three male and two female skiers.[39]

Athlete Event Run 1 Run 2 Total
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Aleksandr Khoroshilov Men's slalom 49.72 21 51.01 5 1:40.73 17
Ivan Kuznetsov Men's slalom DNF
Men's giant slalom DNF
Pavel Trikhichev Men's combined DNF
Anastasiia Silanteva Women's giant slalom 1:15.67 32 1:12.28 29 2:27.95 30
Ekaterina Tkachenko Women's slalom 53.22 34 53.33 33 1:46.55 32
Mixed
Athlete Event Round of 16 Quarterfinals Semifinals Final / BM
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Rank
Aleksandr Khoroshilov
Ivan Kuznetsov
Anastasiia Silanteva
Ekaterina Tkachenko
Team   Norway (NOR)
L 0–4
Did not advance

BiathlonEdit

Based on their Nations Cup rankings in the 2016–17 Biathlon World Cup, Russia has qualified 6 men and 5 women. However, the IOC only invited 2 men and 2 women.[40]

Athlete Event Time Misses Rank
Anton Babikov Men's sprint 25:48.5 4 (3+1) 57
Men's pursuit 37:21.8 4 (1+1+2+0) 40
Men's individual 50:08.0 1 (0+0+1+0) 16
Matvey Eliseev Men's sprint 26:59.3 5 (3+2) 83
Men's individual 51:07.1 3 (0+2+0+1) 28
Tatiana Akimova Women's sprint 22:24.2 0 (0+0) 20
Women's pursuit 33:50.8 4 (1+1+0+2) 31
Women's individual 44:17.6 2 (0+1+0+1) 15
Women's mass start 41:32.4 6 (0+0+5+1) 30
Uliana Kaisheva Women's sprint 22:58.5 2 (1+1) 33
Women's pursuit 36:33.6 5 (0+2+2+1) 52
Women's individual 44:47.9 2 (0+2+0+0) 24
Anton Babikov
Matvey Eliseev
Tatiana Akimova
Uliana Kaisheva
Mixed relay 1:10:49.1 0+6 0+4 9

BobsleighEdit

Based on their rankings in the 2017–18 Bobsleigh World Cup, Russia has qualified 6 sleds.[41][42][43]

Men
Athlete Event Run 1 Run 2 Run 3 Run 4 Total
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Maxim Andrianov*
Yury Selikhov
Two-man 50.27 28 50.58 29 49.98 26 Eliminated 2:30.83 28
Vasiliy Kondratenko
Alexey Stulnev*
49.77 19 49.99 20 49.74 20 49.87 20 3:19.37 20
Maxim Andrianov*
Ruslan Samitov
Yury Selikhov
Alexey Zaitsev
Four-man 49.43 18 49.39 12 49.56 15 49.56 4 3:17.94 15
Women
Athlete Event Run 1 Run 2 Run 3 Run 4 Total
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Yulia Belomestnykh
Aleksandra Rodionova*
Two-woman 51.29 17 51.47 17 51.41 15 51.55 17 3:25.72 17
Anastasia Kocherzhova
Nadezhda Sergeeva*
Two-woman 51.01 10 51.49 18 51.29 12 51.37 14 3:25.16 DSQ (12)

* – Denotes the driver of each sled

Cross-country skiingEdit

Russia qualified 12 athletes, seven male and five female.[44]

Distance
Men
Athlete Event Classical Freestyle Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Deficit Rank
Aleksandr Bolshunov 50 km classical 2:08:40.8 +18.7  
Aleksey Chervotkin 2:13:19.0 +4:56.9 12
Andrey Larkov 15 km freestyle 35:25.1 +1:41.2 20
30 km skiathlon 41:37.5 31 36:38.0 29 1:18:50.6 +2:30.6 30
50 km classical 2:10:59.6 +2:37.5  
Andrey Melnichenko 15 km freestyle 35:02.1 +1:18.2 14
30 km skiathlon 41:46.4 32 36:30.1 24 1:18:50.5 +2:30.5 29
Denis Spitsov 15 km freestyle 34:06.9 +23.0  
30 km skiathlon 40:35.0 13 35:26.5 3 1:16:32.7 +12.7 4
50 km classical 2:16:24.6 +8:02.5 20
Alexey Vitsenko 15 km freestyle 36:46.4 +3:02.5 49
30 km skiathlon 41:09.2 20 36:20.6 22 1:18:02.2 +1:42.2 23
Aleksandr Bolshunov
Aleksey Chervotkin
Andrey Larkov
Denis Spitsov
4 × 10 km relay 1:33:14.3 +9.4  
Women
Athlete Event Classical Freestyle Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Deficit Rank
Yulia Belorukova 15 km skiathlon 22:02.5 22 20:15.9 22 42:51.0 +2:06.1 18
Anna Nechaevskaya 10 km freestyle 26:24.8 +1:24.3 10
Natalia Nepryaeva 15 km skiathlon 21:28.2 11 19:21.6 8 41:17.9 +33.0 8
30 km classical 1:32:10.4 +9:52.8 24
Anastasia Sedova 10 km freestyle 26:07.8 +1:07.3 8
15 km skiathlon 21:43.8 19 19:43.2 12 41:57.7 +1:12.8 12
30 km classical 1:26:46.8 +4:29.2 11
Alisa Zhambalova 10 km freestyle 26:57.8 +1:57.3 17
15 km skiathlon 22:34.9 28 19:51.9 15 42:59.1 +2:14.2 21
30 km classical 1:27:27.2 +5:09.6 15
Yulia Belorukova
Anna Nechaevskaya
Natalia Nepryaeva
Anastasia Sedova
4 × 5 km relay 52:07.6 +43.3  
Sprint
Men
Athlete Event Qualification Quarterfinal Semifinal Final
Total Rank Total Rank Total Rank Total Rank
Aleksandr Bolshunov Sprint 3:10.20 3 Q 3:08.45 1 Q 3:06.63 3 q 3:07.11  
Andrey Melnichenko 3:22.27 48 Did not advance
Alexander Panzhinskiy 3:11.63 6 Q 3:11.15 4 q 3:19.05 6 Did not advance
Alexey Vitsenko 3:14.56 14 Q 3:30.72 5 Did not advance
Aleksandr Bolshunov
Denis Spitsov
Team sprint 15:58.84 1 Q 15:57.97  
Women
Athlete Event Qualification Quarterfinal Semifinal Final
Total Rank Total Rank Total Rank Total Rank
Yulia Belorukova Sprint 3:18.26 15 Q 3:14.29 1 Q 3:10.12 1 Q 3:07.21  
Natalia Nepryaeva 3:15.65 6 Q 3:11.78 1 Q 3:10.72 3 q 3:12.98 4
Alisa Zhambalova 3:31.53 44 Did not advance
Yulia Belorukova
Natalia Nepryaeva
Team sprint 16:24.63 3 q 16:41.76 9

CurlingEdit

Summary
Team Event Group stage Tiebreaker Semifinal Final / BM
Opposition
Score
Opposition
Score
Opposition
Score
Opposition
Score
Opposition
Score
Opposition
Score
Opposition
Score
Opposition
Score
Opposition
Score
Rank Opposition
Score
Opposition
Score
Opposition
Score
Rank
Victoria Moiseeva
Uliana Vasilyeva
Galina Arsenkina
Julia Guzieva
Yulia Portunova
Women's tournament   GBR
L 3–10
  CHN
W 7–6
  SWE
L 4–5
  USA
L 6–7
  JPN
L 5–10
  SUI
L 2–11
  DEN
W 8–7
  KOR
L 2–11
  CAN
L 8–9
9 Did not advance
Anastasia Bryzgalova
Alexander Krushelnitskiy
Mixed doubles   USA
L 3–9
  NOR
W 4–3
  FIN
W 7–5
  CHN
W 6–5
  KOR
W 6–5
  CAN
L 2–8
  SUI
L 8–9
3 Q BYE   SUI
L 5–7
  NOR
L (DSQ)
DSQ

Women'sEdit

Russia has qualified their women's team (five athletes), by finishing in the top seven teams in Olympic Qualification points.[45] The representatives were determined at the 2017 Russian Olympic Curling Trials.

The Russian team consists of Victoria Moiseeva, Uliana Vasilyeva, Galina Arsenkina, Julia Guzieva, and Yulia Portunova.

Final round robin standings

Key
Teams to playoffs
Skip W L PF PA Ends
won
Ends
lost
Blank
ends
Stolen
ends
Shot %
  South Korea Kim Eun-jung 8 1 75 44 41 34 5 15 79%
  Sweden Anna Hasselborg 7 2 64 48 42 34 14 13 83%
  Great Britain Eve Muirhead 6 3 61 56 39 38 12 6 79%
  Japan Satsuki Fujisawa 5 4 59 55 38 36 10 13 75%
  China Wang Bingyu 4 5 57 65 35 38 12 5 78%
  Canada Rachel Homan 4 5 68 59 40 36 10 12 81%
  Switzerland Silvana Tirinzoni 4 5 60 55 34 37 12 7 78%
  United States Nina Roth 4 5 56 65 38 39 7 6 78%
  Olympic Athletes from Russia Victoria Moiseeva 2 7 45 76 34 40 8 6 76%
  Denmark Madeleine Dupont 1 8 50 72 32 41 10 6 73%
Round-robin

The Olympic Athletes from Russia team has a bye in draws 3, 7 and 10.

Mixed doublesEdit

Russia has qualified a mixed doubles team by earning enough points in the last two World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships.[46]

There were no trials as the team was chosen by the Russian Olympic Committee.

The Olympic Athletes from Russia team won the mixed doubles bronze medal game against Norway, but due to a positive testing of meldonium from Alexander Krushelnitskiy, their bronze medals were stripped and given to Norway.[47]

Final round robin standings

Key
Teams to playoffs
Teams to tiebreaker
Athletes W L PF PA Ends
won
Ends
lost
Blank
ends
Stolen
ends
Shot %
  Canada Kaitlyn Lawes / John Morris 6 1 52 26 28 20 0 9 80%
  Switzerland Jenny Perret / Martin Rios 5 2 45 40 29 26 0 10 71%
  Olympic Athletes from Russia Anastasia Bryzgalova / Alexander Krushelnitskiy 4 3 36 44 26 27 1 7 67%
  Norway Kristin Skaslien / Magnus Nedregotten 4 3 39 43 26 25 1 8 74%
  China Wang Rui / Ba Dexin 4 3 47 42 27 27 1 6 72%
  South Korea Jang Hye-ji / Lee Ki-jeong 2 5 40 40 23 29 1 7 67%
  United States Rebecca Hamilton / Matt Hamilton 2 5 37 43 26 25 0 9 74%
  Finland Oona Kauste / Tomi Rantamäki 1 6 35 53 23 29 0 6 67%
Semifinal

Monday, February 12, 20:05

Sheet C 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Final
  Olympic Athletes from Russia (Bryzgalova / Krushelnitskiy) 0 2 0 0 2 1 0 0 5
  Switzerland (Perret / Rios)   2 0 1 1 0 0 2 1 7
Bronze Medal Game

Tuesday, February 13, 9:05

Sheet B 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Final
  Olympic Athletes from Russia (Bryzgalova / Krushelnitskiy)   2 1 0 2 0 1 1 1 L
  Norway (Skaslien / Nedregotten) 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 W
Notes