North Texas Olympian says Banning Russia is the Right Move - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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North Texas Olympian says Banning Russia is the Right Move

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    North Texas Olympian says Banning Russia is the Right Move

    A North Texas Olympian says the decision to ban Russians from the 2018 Winter games is "the right move." (Published Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017)

    An announcement made Tuesday by the International Olympic Committee will change the landscape of the upcoming winter games.

    With a little more than two months until the opening ceremony, the IOC banned Russia from competing in Pyeongchang.

    The decision follows a doping investigation that began in Sochi in 2014.

    A North Texas Olympian who competed against some of the accused says it’s the right move.

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    Johnny Quinn and his team placed 12th in the four-man bobsled event.

    He’s now an insurance agent in McKinney and a motivational speaker who says being an Olympian is still a major part of his life.

    He can't help but feel for the athletes denied the title because of Russian doping.

    ‘We lost our 3rd sled to Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics and so we sent four guys home who should be U.S. Olympians,” he said.

    To compete in South Korea, “clean" Russian athletes must trade their country's flag, anthem, and uniform for the name "OAR", Olympic Athlete from Russia and compete under the neutral Olympic flag.

    It’s something Quinn says he can’t imagine.

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    “To hear them say the United States of American and to wear the red, white and blue and walk in opening ceremonies, it was an unbelievable experience,” he said.

    Two World Anti-Doping Agency reports revealed evidence of state-sponsored, systemic doping in Russia.

    Over five years, it says more than 1,000 Russian competitors across 30 sports were involved.

    “I think that's what’s kind of scary is to see how widespread this doping scandal was,” Quinn said.

    Quinn questions why it took more than four years for the investigation to unfold.

    He says the ruling should comfort future Olympians knowing they're competing on a level playing field.

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    The Kremlin denies the allegations.

    Russian television channels are vowing not to show the games.

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