The hammer of the International Olympic Committee has fallen on the Russia’s Olympic team.

The team will not be participating in the Olympics after it was banned by the IOC over a doping scandal.

The country’s government officials are forbidden to attend, its flag will not be displayed at the opening ceremony and its anthem will not sound.

Any athletes from Russia who receive special dispensation to compete will do so as individuals wearing a neutral uniform, and the official record books will forever show that Russia won zero medals.

That was the punishment issued on Tuesday to the proud sports juggernaut that has long used the Olympics as a show of global force but was exposed for systematic doping in previously unfathomable ways.

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The International Olympic Committee, after completing its own prolonged investigations that reiterated what had been known for more than a year, handed Russia penalties for doping so severe they were without precedent in Olympics history.

The ruling was the final confirmation that the nation was guilty of executing an extensive state-backed doping programme. 

The scheme was rivaled perhaps only by the notorious programme conducted by East Germany throughout the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.

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