Have any countries besides Russia been banned from the Olympics?

Updated August 3, 2021 | Infoplease Staff

The Question:

The Olympic Athletes from Russia were a thing. Now it's the Russian Olympic Committee. Has anyone other than Russia been banned or is this a special thing?

The Answer:

Lots of people have been banned from the Olympics. If there's anything special about this ban, it's that Russia is the only country to be banned for a sports issue.

For context, Russia was banned from the Olympics due to the country sponsoring doping to improve their athletes' performance. This ban also extends to other international sporting events. 

In all other cases, the bans at the Olympics were political. The Central Powers were banned from competing in 1920, and Germany still in 1924. Japan and Germany were banned in 1948 for World War II. Afghanistan was banned in 2000 for the Taliban's treatment of women (and their banning of sports).  And South Africa was banned from seven consecutive Olympic games for apartheid. 

So in a broader context, Russia is neither the first country to be banned nor the country to be banned from the most Olympics. But, they are a special case in that their bannable offense was related to sports. 

-The Editors

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