(UnitedVoice.com) – In an apparent snub to the west, China has invited President Vladimir Putin to next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics. The Russian leader was facing a ban on officially attending; now the host country has given him a chance to save face.
Vladimir Putin will attend Beijing Olympics despite Russian government officials being banned due to doping sanctions https://t.co/2IDaxLC21b
— Around the Rings (@AroundTheRings) September 17, 2021
After Russia falsified anti-doping records in 2019, the IOC banned the country from formally competing in major events – including the Olympics – until December 2022. While some of the country’s athletes will be able to compete in the February contest, they can’t do it under the Russian flag and the Russian anthem won’t be played. Instead, they’ll be attending as the Russian Olympic Committee team. The sanction also means Putin isn’t allowed to attend as the leader of a non-competing nation, which is a serious embarrassment.
Now Chinese communist leader Xi Jinping has come to Putin’s rescue. On September 16, Russian media reported that Putin had accepted an invitation from Xi to attend. As a personal guest of the host nation’s president, he can sidestep the International Olympic Committee’s ban.
This isn’t the first time Russia has been punished for its lax stance on performance-enhancing drugs. The Russian flag was banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics over a 2014 drug scandal, and many Russian athletes were scrubbed from the last two Olympic Games. Russia claims it doesn’t condone drug use by athletes – but it certainly isn’t much good at stopping it.
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