Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin speak out against Russian doping

It's been called an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport, prompting the most wide-ran...

Posted: Dec 7, 2017 3:15 PM
Updated: Dec 7, 2017 3:15 PM

It's been called an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport, prompting the most wide-ranging punishment ever meted out to a participating nation.

Now leading US skiers Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin have joined the chorus of those backing the International Olympic Committee's IOC decision to ban the country from next year's Winter Olympics.

Lindsey Vonn brands Russian doping "just not acceptable"

American ski great, 33, adds: "I'm not surprised unfortunately"

Compatriot Mikaela Shiffrin calls win at all costs mentality "really sad"

"Doping and what the Russians did is just not acceptable," Vonn, the most decorated American skier in history, told CNN's Alpine Edge. "We have to make that clear and make sure that it doesn't happen again."

"I don't question the integrity of the Olympic Games as much as the specific nations that host the Games," said Shiffrin, referring to Russia, which staged the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014.

"If you're working with a nation who's willing to go to those ends to have a successful Olympics, that's really sad for me," added the 22-year-old Shiffrin, who is the Olympic slalom champion and winner of the last three slalom World Championships.

'Right thing'

Having consistently denied the allegations of a state-backed doping campaign, Russia was banned from PyeongChang 2018 on Tuesday over the country's "systemic manipulation" of the rules, following a 17-month investigation carried out by the former president of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid.

Russian athletes who can incontrovertibly prove that they are untainted by doping will be "invited" to compete at February's Winter Games but won't be allowed to display any national symbols -- something President Vladimir Putin has previously said would be an humiliation.

They'll instead compete under the name "Olympic Athlete from Russia" (OAR), and the Olympic anthem will be played at any medal ceremonies for Russian athletes.

"I mean, if even a small percentage of that is true, I would think the IOC did the right thing," said Vonn, telling CNN she was "not surprised" to learn of the lengths Russia went to in pursuit of victory,

"Obviously there are potential athletes that are clean but they have the option now to compete under a neutral flag, which I think is a good solution."

READ: Why Vonn won't be representing the US President at the Winter Olympics

READ: Lindsey Vonn delves into fashion

'Not about the medals'

As the scandal rumbles on, the Oswald Commission -- headed by another Swiss, the IOC member Denis Oswald -- is dealing with the specific cases and determining sanctions against individual athletes.

It has so far handed out lifetime bans to 25 Russian competitors since the start of November and stripped 11 medals, which means Russia has dropped from first in the Sochi medal table, to fourth behind Norway, Canada and the US.

Richard McLaren, whose reports into Russian doping provided much of the basis for Tuesday's decision, told CNN that the scandal was a "sad commentary on sport," but added that he was pleased his work had been confirmed by the IOC.

Putin spoke out against the ruling, telling reporters "it all looks like an absolutely staged and politically motivated decision."

But for Vonn and Shiffrin, sport has always been about more than just winning and losing.

"When you're dealing with corruption like that, you don't expect it but at the same time it's not surprising," said Vonn. "Some people would do anything to win medals and bring home gold for their country. There are rules for a reason and some people just don't want to follow them."

"The premise of the Olympics is clean, friendly competition but intense and inspiring competition," said Shiffrin. "I mean I know it's about the medals but it's not about the medals in a way."

Vonn, who has had to overcome a number of serious injuries throughout her career, missed the Games at Sochi when she failed to recover from a knee problem.

READ: Why Lindsey Vonn wants to race the men

Visit CNN.com/skiing for more news and features

Well on her way to beating Ingemar Stenmark's World Cup record of 86 victories, she'll now aim to add to the downhill Olympic title she claimed in Vancouver back in 2010.

The PyeongChang Winter Olympics take place from 9-25 February 2018.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 41571

Reported Deaths: 1537
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin13328790
Ramsey5169232
Dakota265596
Stearns249619
Anoka2393111
Nobles16846
Olmsted125920
Washington125541
Mower9822
Rice8798
Scott8584
Clay61238
Kandiyohi5901
Blue Earth5632
Wright5285
Carver4691
Todd4022
Sherburne3625
Lyon3332
Freeborn3120
Watonwan2670
Steele2451
Benton2363
St. Louis22316
Nicollet20312
Martin1755
Cottonwood1420
Winona14115
Goodhue1408
Le Sueur1251
Crow Wing11312
Pine1120
Otter Tail1111
Chisago1071
McLeod1000
Dodge960
Carlton900
Polk883
Unassigned8838
Isanti810
Chippewa801
Waseca770
Murray730
Itasca7112
Douglas700
Pipestone694
Morrison641
Becker620
Meeker621
Faribault610
Sibley582
Jackson570
Pennington530
Beltrami470
Brown442
Mille Lacs392
Wabasha380
Renville372
Fillmore350
Rock340
Swift331
Houston320
Yellow Medicine310
Grant250
Roseau250
Redwood230
Wilkin223
Koochiching211
Norman210
Cass192
Big Stone170
Kanabec171
Lincoln170
Wadena170
Aitkin150
Marshall130
Pope130
Clearwater120
Stevens110
Hubbard100
Mahnomen101
Lake60
Traverse60
Lac qui Parle50
Red Lake40
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34564

Reported Deaths: 747
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk7332184
Woodbury332944
Black Hawk249259
Buena Vista173711
Johnson14268
Dallas138531
Linn138183
Marshall109219
Scott103110
Dubuque94023
Story8575
Pottawattamie82112
Wapello71431
Muscatine68745
Crawford6803
Sioux5010
Tama48329
Wright3971
Louisa36513
Webster3655
Plymouth3465
Jasper34417
Warren3191
Dickinson2993
Cerro Gordo2841
Washington2519
Hamilton2011
Boone1681
Clay1491
Clarke1433
Allamakee1384
Clinton1321
Shelby1200
Mahaska11917
Carroll1131
Poweshiek1128
Bremer1107
Pocahontas1071
Franklin1040
Des Moines1002
Cedar951
Emmet950
Henry933
Hardin900
Cherokee831
Floyd812
Taylor810
Marion800
Monona780
Benton751
Guthrie754
Jones710
Butler682
Osceola680
Sac680
Buchanan631
Calhoun632
Iowa631
Jefferson620
Hancock601
Harrison600
Humboldt601
Fayette570
Jackson570
Lyon570
Delaware561
Madison552
Lee542
Monroe527
Palo Alto510
Clayton503
Grundy470
Mills470
Winneshiek460
Mitchell440
Davis421
Kossuth410
Union380
Howard370
Lucas354
Unassigned350
Winnebago340
Greene300
Chickasaw290
Cass280
Ida230
Keokuk231
Worth220
Appanoose213
Page210
Van Buren210
Audubon181
Adair170
Ringgold161
Decatur130
Montgomery122
Wayne110
Fremont100
Adams80
Rochester
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 60°
Mason City
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 60°
Albert Lea
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 61°
Austin
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 61°
Charles City
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 60°
Severe Thunderstorm Watch Until 8 P.M.; Sunday looks great
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Dave Main 10p Wx

Image

Virtual campaigning during pandemic

Image

Former NIACC coach Travis Hergert back in big league camp with the Phillies

Image

New ICE guidelines causing concern for international students

Image

Dave Main 6p Weather 7/11

Image

Connecting with a loved one with dementia during the pandemic

Image

Bruins set to host all-star game

Image

COVID-19 Cases Expected to Spike in North Iowa

Image

Training hard for a season that might not happen

Image

Sean's 6pm Weather 7/10

Community Events