Russia has been officially banned from the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea after an IOC investigation found evidence of a long-running, extensive, state-sponsored doping program. From the NYT: “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.” Vladimir Putin will not take kindly to having Russia neutralized by the IOC (not exactly a pillar of ethics), and he might pull out of the games altogether. Like many Russian stories, this one is about Putin v the world (because the doping program came from the very top). This guy is at the center of just about every international story.

+ In the Netflix documentary Icarus, an American cyclist/filmmaker set out to make a movie about the effects of doping, using himself as a guinea pig. What he stumbled into was the story of the vast doping scandal that leads the news today.