Surprising news just hit the web this morning: athletic juggernaut Russia, has been banned from all competitions in this years 2018 Winter Olympics.
The IOC laid down the law after doping allegations swirled leading up to the event. According to the NY Times, "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."
While the Russian freeski team didn't really show out at the last Olympics, this ban will be interesting nonetheless as Russia has discussed boycotting the IOC if any severe punishment were to happen although no official statement has been released yet.
The IOC did leave room for some Russian athletes; basically anyone who has gone through rigorous drug testing may petition to compete in neutral uniforms. How many can get through that test is unknown but entire sports for Russia will be missing by the time of competition.
Will any Russian athletes compete in slopestyle again this winter? We will have to wait & see. It appears that their only hope is Pavel Chupa (20th in Halfpipe) & Valeria Demidova (13th in Halfpipe).