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February 02, 2024 Feature

Beijing 2022: The Games of Muted Joy

By John T. Wendt


Through 2012 and 2014 several cities began bidding to host the XXIV Olympic Winter Games to be held in 2022. Those cities included Beijing, Almaty, Kraków, Oslo, Munich, Stockholm and Lviv, Ukraine. The Lviv Bid was led by Sergey Bubka, President of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine and Senior Vice President of World Athletics (formerly known as “The International Association of Athletics Federations”). Bubka has been regarded as the greatest pole vaulter of all time.1

But as 2015 approached several of the cities dropped out and on July 31, 2015, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose Beijing, China over Almaty, Kazakhstan to host the 2022 Games by a vote of 44 – 40. Beijing became the first city to be awarded both the Summer and Winter Games. And the 2022 Games came only six months after the delayed 2020/2021 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. The Beijing Organising (sic) Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (BOC) retooled their official motto as, “Together for a Shared Future” representing the power of the Olympic Games to overcome global challenges as a community, with a shared future for humankind, especially in light of the COVID-19 (Covid) pandemic.2 It also mirrored3 the recent change of the IOC motto from “Faster, Higher, Stronger” to “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together” to reflect solidarity within the Olympic Movement.4

Covid did play a major role in the Games. Many athletes, coaches, support staff, even high-level officials were unable to attend.5 Athletes who did meet Covid protocols and were able to travel to Beijing were greeted by testing individuals in total hazmat suits. Beijing organizers instituted a “closed loop” virus protection system designed to keep Games participants and the Chinese people safe. The mantra of “Test, Trace and Isolate” were repeated over and over again, with daily health monitoring and testing. Failure to comply with the rules, for example going outside of your loop, refusing to take a test, failing to wear a mask could result in disciplinary consequences including loss or participation or expulsion.6

Medical Issues and Concerns

Under the Closed Loop the movements of over 10,000 participants were very controlled and they were allowed to move only between Games-related venues for food, housing, training, competition, and travel without coming into contact with the outside. Those participants who were not fully vaccinated would have to serve a 21-day quarantine upon arrival. Athletes who tested positive during the Games were also placed in isolation. Over 150 athletes and over 400 related personnel and stakeholders were isolated.7

Athletes and coaches pushed back. Polish short track speed skater Natalia Maliszewska was initially released from isolation after returning two consecutive negative tests but was returned to isolation just hours ahead of her qualifying race, due to a follow up test which returned a positive result and missed her first competitive event. Maliszewska said, “I can’t understand this anymore. I no longer believe in any tests, any Olympics. To me this is a big joke, I hope whoever is managing this has a lot of fun. My heart and my mind can’t take this anymore.”8 US Figure Skater Vincent Zhou tested positive after the Team but before the Individual Competition said, “I have taken all the precautions I can, I’ve isolated myself so much that the loneliness I’ve felt in the last month or two has been crushing at times…The enormity of the situation, the pain of it all is pretty insane...but I do recognize that this absolutely does not define me as an athlete, as a person.”9

And Russian biathlete Valeria Vasnetsova, posted a picture of picture of a Styrofoam tray containing meat, pasta, and potatoes saying, “This is what they’ve been feeding me for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the last five days…They don’t give us any other options for food. My bones are sticking out. I’m very pale and I have huge black circles around my eyes. I want all this to end. I cry every day. I’m very tired.”10 Zhao Weidong, a spokesperson for the BOC, said that the controls were necessary and even praised by the World Health Organization. He went on to say they were committed to providing “meticulous and considerate services and convenience to athletes from all countries.”11

Diplomatic Controversy

Throughout the run-up to the Games, there were calls to boycott the Games over human rights concerns especially regarding the treatment of ethnic Uyghurs and other minority groups in Xinjiang. While some in the United States Congress called for a complete boycott of the Games, the White House Press Secretary said the decision would be a “diplomatic boycott” noting that “U.S. athletes will continue to compete and will ‘have our full support,’ but added “we will not be contributing to the fanfare of the games. U.S. diplomatic or official representation would treat these games as business as usual in the face of the PRC’s egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang, and we simply can’t do that…”12 Australia, Great Britain and Canada joined in the diplomatic boycott.13 Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Kosovo and Lithuania also joined in the boycott while Austria, Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovenia and Sweden all cited Covid as a reason for not sending diplomats.14

In response China claimed that the boycott violated the Olympic Spirit and it “seriously violates the principle of political neutrality of sports established by the Olympic Charter and runs counter to the Olympic motto ‘more united.’”15 IOC President Thomas Bach, who himself was denied an opportunity to compete in fencing due to the 1980 boycott of the Moscow Games has consistently noted that the mission of the Olympic Games is to bring the world together in peaceful competition. Bach “We also saw that in some peoples’ minds, the boycott ghosts of the past were rearing their ugly heads again…In all these conversations (about possible boycotts) we stressed that the Olympic Games can only accomplish this unifying mission, that we can only get all humanity together in all our diversity, if the Games stand beyond all differences and political disputes…The Olympic Games are this symbol of peace and unity, showing us the way to a better and more peaceful future.”16


Rule 41 of the Olympic Charter states, “Any competitor in the Olympic Games must be a national of the country of the NOC which is entering such competitor.”17 And Bye-Law 1 of Rule 41 states, “A competitor who is a national of two or more countries at the same time may represent either one of them, as he may elect.”18 This issue came up several times in these Games.

Kaillie Humphries is an Olympic Gold Medalist and World Champion bobsledder originally from Calgary and who has competed for Canada for more than ten years. In 2019 Humphries left the Canadian team after making allegation of harassment against Todd Hays, the coach of the Canadian bobsled team. In 2019 Humphries also married former US bobsledder Travis Armbruster. Humphries wanted to compete for the United States, but under Section 319(a) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act, Humphries and Armbruster needed to be in a “marital union” for three years before she could apply for citizenship, making her ineligible until 2023, after the 2022 Games.19

As Humphries said, “But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t change what I’ve done…I stood up to a bully. I had to leave my country, my environment and everything I knew. I had to do it for my safety and for my health. And I don’t regret it for a single second.”20 The IOC would not grant her an exemption so leaders from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and USA Bobsled/Skeleton lobbied Congress for an expedited way to get her US citizenship. It was also noticed that Humphries was the reigning world champion and favorite in Two-Man Bobsled and Monobob.21 Humphries citizenship arrived just in time, and she went on to win the Gold Medal in Women’s Monobob at Beijing.

In Men’s Hockey, China, as the host country, received an automatic bid to the Games, but entered the Games ranked 32nd in the world, the lowest ranked host to play, just ahead of Iceland and Israel. International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) eligibility rules state that players must compete for two consecutive seasons in their new country.22 The Chinese national team was made up of players from Beijing’s Kunlun Red Star, part of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), Russia’s professional league.

In 2019 Kunlun Red Star began importing players, mostly from North America. Goalie Jeremy Smith is from Dearborn, was drafted by the Nashville Predators and played in the NHL for the Colorado Avalanche.23 Jake Chelios played for Michigan State and the Detroit Red Wings.24 They both now play for Kunlun Red Star with the Chinese names of Shimisi Jieruimi and Kailiaosi Jieke respectively. Before the Games Chelios said that opportunity to play in the Games were part of the recruiting pitch and said, “It honestly has been unreal…“I’m so happy that I actually made the jump over here.”25 Smith went further saying, “This is sport. This is hockey. I’m here to represent China. When I’m in China, I’m Chinese. When I go to America, I’m American. I’m building bridges for younger generations from hockey, to inspire.”26 Smith also stated that he was never asked to give up his US citizenship.27

Perhaps the most interesting case dealt with freestyle skier Eileen Gu (Gu Ailing) who won two Gold and one Silver Medal in freestyle skiing and was the face of the Beijing Games. Gu has been described as, “one of those people who seems to be good at everything. From winning three freestyle skiing medals (including two golds) at the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games, to gracing the front cover of Vogue Magazine, the part-time model is also an excellent student who is planning to go to Stanford University.”28 According to Forbes, at $20.1 million Gu was the third highest-paid female athlete in 2022,29 and she has secured international marketing and sponsorship deals spanning Asian and Western cultures. Fluent in Mandarin and English, Gu, a child of a Chinese mother and an American father was born and raised in San Francisco by her mother and maternal grandmother. In competition she represented the USA before announcing that she was switching allegiances to China on Instagram in 2019.

But there was, and still is, confusion over the switch. Again, Rule 41 of the Olympic Charter states, “Any competitor in the Olympic Games must be a national of the country of the NOC which is entering such competitor.”30 However, Article 3 of the Nationality Law of the People’s Republic of China states that, “The People’s Republic of China does not recognize the dual nationality of Chinese citizens.”31 It was reported that the IOC Executive Board approved her change of sporting nationality in December 2019 after the Chinese Olympic Committee submitted the required documentation, including a copy of her Chinese passport.32

Gu has not directly answered the question of her citizenship instead saying, “Nobody can deny I’m American, nobody can deny I’m Chinese…When I’m in the US, I’m American, but when I’m in China, I’m Chinese.”33 Both countries seem to be happy to claim her success. Coming full circle, she has become a spokesperson for the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games which may be bidding for the 2030 or 2034 Games.34

Figure Skating

Perhaps the biggest controversy at the Beijing Games involved 15-year-old Russian Figure Skater Kamila Valieva. On February 7, 2022, during the Team Competition Valieva became the first woman to land not only one but two quad jumps in the Olympics as the Russians dominated the Team Event. Then word came that Valieva had tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine at the Russian Championships back on December 25, 2021. The delay in analysis and reporting was blamed on Covid.35

On February 8, 2022, Ms. Valeriya German of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) notified Valieva, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Testing Agency (ITA) and the International Skating Union (ISU) of a potential anti-doping violation and that Valieva has been provisionally suspended. Valieva appealed to RUSADA’s Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee (DADC) which lifted the provisional suspension. The IOC, WADA and ISU appealed the decision to lift the suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). 36 The CAS has an Ad Hoc Division that is established during each Games to provide for the resolution by arbitration for disputes that arise during the Games.

While the media immediately focused on the alleged anti-doping violation, the dispute before the CAS Ad Hoc Division was specifically “about whether the Appealed Decision which has lifted the Provisional Suspension should be set aside or not; i.e., whether the Suspension should be reinstated or not.”37 In their analysis the CAS Panel noted that at the time Valieva was considered a “Protected Person” under the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) and “The Code treats Protected Persons differently than other Athletes or Persons in certain circumstances based on the understanding that, below a certain age or intellectual capacity, an Athlete or other Person may not possess the mental capacity to understand and appreciate the prohibitions against conduct contained in the Code.”38

The Panel determined that no provisional suspension should be imposed due to a number of “exceptional circumstances” including that a:) Valieva is a Protected Person under the Code; b:) that both RUSADA and WADA rules “are silent with respect to provisional suspension imposed on protected persons”; c:) that the Panel considered fundamental principles of fairness, proportionality, irreparable harm, and the relative balance of interests, and that the balance of interests tipped decisively in favor of the Valieva, again because she is a Protected Person; and d:) that there were “serious issues” of the untimely notification of Valieva’s anti-doping test which impinged on her ability to establish legal requirements for her benefit, and that the late notification was not Valieva’s fault.39

The Panel noted that if Valieva was provisionally suspended and that later the results management process would find that the suspension should either be lifted or substantially reduced, Valieva would have lost the chance to compete at the Games without any recourse, an irreparable harm. However, if she was allowed to compete, win a medal, and then later found to have committed an anti-doping violation, those results could be vacated and the medal returned.40

The Panel again stressed that they were requested to determine only the narrow issue as to whether a provisional suspension should be imposed on Valieva and not to rule on the merits of the case or the results of the team competition as those issues would be examined in other proceedings.41 On February 14, 2022, the Ad Hoc Division of the CAS dismissed the applications of the IOC, WADA and the ISU thereby allowed Valieva to continue to compete in the Games. She placed fourth in the Women’s Figure Skating.

Also on February 14, 2022, the International Olympic Committee noting the CAS Panel decision, that “In the interest of fairness to all athletes and the NOCs concerned, it would not be appropriate to hold the medal ceremony for the figure skating team event during the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 as it would include an athlete who on the one hand has a positive A-sample, but whose violation of the anti-doping rules has not yet been established on the other hand.”42 The members of the United States Figure Skating Team which finished second to Russian in the Team Event appealed to the CAS to order the IOC be ordered “to present to them the silver medals that they earned in the Olympic Figure Skating Team Event in a public medal ceremony to be held prior to the close of the XXIV Winter Olympic Games.”43 The Panel noted that it admired and respected the achievements of the American Team and that it is an unfortunate situation through no fault of their own. However, the Panel also recognized that the IOC has the sole discretion to decide on issues included medal ceremonies as set out in Rule 56 of the Olympic Charter and dismissed the appeal.44

The decisions involving Valieva and the Team Event are still unresolved as of February 11, 2023, nearly one year after the Beijing Games. In their review, the independent Russian Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee did find that Valieva, a minor, did commit an anti-doping rule violation, but that she bore not fault or negligence for that violation. Their sanction was to disqualify her results from the day when the sample was collected December 25, 2021, meaning she lost her Russian Championship title. 45 But, it would also mean that Russia would receive the Gold Medal in the Olympic Team competition. On January 30, 2023, WADA, ISU and RUSADA received the Committee’s Reasoned Decision and stated that they are studying it to consider further actions including an appeal to the CAS.

Olympic Truce

As was done in previous Games before the 2022 Beijing Games began there was a call for an “Olympic Truce.” United Nations Secretary General António Guterres called on all parties to stop hostilities throughout the course of the games. Guterres went on to say, “The top athletes from around the world have a date with history, in a spirit of mutual understanding, hard work and fair play. This spirit inspires us all… With conflict spreading and tensions rising, this appeal represents a chance to overcome differences and find paths towards lasting peace. As we strive to end the COVID-19 pandemic, let’s unite for a safer, more prosperous and sustainable future for all. I call on everyone to observe the Olympic Truce during the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Through the power of sports and the Olympic ideal, let us build a culture of peace.”46 UN Resolution 76/13 entitled, “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal” was adopted by the UN General Assembly by consensus of all 193 UN Members.47 The Truce would run from February 4, 2022, through March 20, 2022, seven days before the Olympic Games until seven days after the Paralympic Games. Russia signed and also co-sponsored the resolution.48

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The IOC condemned the actions of Russia and said that the “IOC is deeply concerned about the safety of the Olympic Community in Ukraine”.49 The IOC also recognized that they were in a dilemma50 between taking action against Russia, treating Russian athletes fairly, and protecting Ukrainian athletes.51 The IOC “with a heavy heart” on February 28, 2022 recommended that all International Sports Federations and event organizers not invite or allow Russian and Belarusian athletes in international competition; that no sports event be organized in Russia or Belarus; withdrew the Olympic Order, the highest award in the Olympic Movement from Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Chernyshenko, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Dmitry Kozak, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office.52

The IOC noted that they did want to punish Russian athletes “for the decisions of their government if they are not actively participating in them.”53 (Emphasis added). For example, at a Gymnastics World Cup event in Qatar in March 2022, Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak taped the letter “Z” to his singlet in the Awards Ceremony. The “Z” has been seen as a propaganda for supporting the war in Ukraine and is displayed on Russian military vehicles. The Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG), the international governing body of gymnastics, disqualified Kuliak from the Doha World Cup, ordered him to return the bronze medal, fined him over $2500, and suspended Kuliak for one year.54 The Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA, now known as “World Aquatics”) suspended Russian Olympic gold medalist swimmer Evgeny Rylov for nine months after he appeared at a rally at Luzhniki Stadium in support of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the invasion of Ukraine. Rylov, too, wore a jacket with a “Z” on the chest.55

On March 23, 2022, FINA banned all Russian and Belarusian swimmers and officials from the World Championships and stripped Russian from hosting the 2025 World Short Course Swimming Championship that were supposed to be held in Kazan. Soccer, Track and Field, Gymnastics, Skiing and Ice Skating all also suspended Russian and Belarusian athletes from competition. 56

The IOC Executive Board reaffirmed its full solidarity with the Ukrainian Olympic Community. It has established a task force to closely monitor the situation and to coordinate humanitarian assistance to members of the Olympic Community in Ukraine where possible.”57 The Executive Board also established a solidarity fund to continue and strengthen its humanitarian assistance.58 Remember that one of the original bidders for 2022 Games was Lviv, Ukraine and that the head of the Lviv delegation was Sergey Bubka. Lviv has been shelled multiple times. Bubka has said that “Ukraine will win”.59 Bubka went on to say, “My dear Ukrainians, the Olympic family is not indifferent to our pain…Like any Ukrainian, I can’t sleep. I will defend our country with all the means at my disposal, using all my international connections. War must end, peace and humanity must prevail.”60 IOC President Thomas Bach has charged Bubka to coordinate humanitarian aid from the Olympic Movement to Ukraine.61


The 2024 Olympic Games will be held in Paris, France. Under the Olympic Charter, the IOC President is elected for a for a term of eight years, renewable once, for four years. Thomas Bach was elected to the IOC Presidency in 2013 and then re-elected in 2021. He has been advised not to try to extend his Presidency.62 In both his first and second acceptance speech Bach stressed that he wanted to be “a President for all of you and for all our stakeholders… My door, my ears and my heart remain open for each and every one of you.”63

At the start of 2023 Bach and the IOC are trying to get “all stakeholders” including Russians and Belarusians a path to the 2024 Games. This would be accomplished by allowing Russians and Belarusians to compete as “neutral athletes”. By doing so it would fulfill Bach’s concept that sport is actively unifying the world and would give “peace a chance” a phrase that he uses often.64 As noted attorney and sportswriter Alan Abrahamson said, “At issue are multiple layers of complexities at the intersections of politics and sport — and what burdens it is fair to ask individual athletes to bear for the actions of their governments.”65

On January 25, 2023, the Executive Board of the IOC met to specifically discuss three issues: the sanctions against the Russian and Belarusian State and Government; the solidarity of the Olympic Movement with the Ukrainian athletes and the Ukrainian Olympic community; and finally, “the possible access to sports competitions for individual athletes with Russian or Belarusian passports.”66 Regarding the third issue, the Executive Board noted that they contacted the leaders of all stakeholder groups and that there was a “strong commitment to the unifying mission of the Olympic Movement” and specifically, “No athlete should be prevented from competing just because of their passport” and that a pathway for athletes’ participation should be explored.67 But, the IOC gave the International Federations the final decision making authority on the details of admitting Russian and Belarusian athletes. This could lead to a non-harmonized approach and application with different rules and regulations, different timetables, and even refusing to admit the athletes altogether.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his outrage. After speaking with French president Emmanuel Macron, Zelenskyy said, “It is obvious that any neutral flag of Russian athletes is stained with blood. I invite Mr. Bach to Bakhmut (a city in Eastern Ukraine much of which has been reduced to ruins)…so that he could see with his own eyes that neutrality does not exist.”68 Zelenskyy also said, “One cannot but be disappointed by the statements of the current President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach. I spoke with him several times. And I never heard how he is going to protect sports from war propaganda if he returns Russian athletes to international competitions. There is no such thing as neutrality when a war like this is going on…And we know how often tyrannies try to use sports for their ideological interests. It is obvious that any neutral flag of Russian athletes is stained with blood.”69 Reportedly at least 220 Ukrainian athletes and coaches have died in the war and over 340 sports facilities damaged or ruined.

The Mayor of Paris, host of the 2024 Olympic Games, Anne Hidalgo supported the ban on Russian and Belarusians saying, “It is not possible to parade as if nothing had happened, to have a delegation that comes to Paris while the bombs continue to rain down on Ukraine.”70 The IOC pushed back saying, “There are no plans for a Russian or Belarusian delegation or the flags of these countries at the Olympic Games Paris 2024…The only option that could be considered are individual, neutral athletes like we have seen last year at the French Open in tennis and recently again at the Australian Open in tennis and in other professional sports.”71

As before with the Beijing Games, there is the specter of a boycott. Again, Bach responded that the threat of the boycott goes against the fundamental principles of the Olympic Movement.72 And the IOC has argued that it would be discriminatory to exclude Russia and Belarus entirely. On February 10, 2023, there was an International Summit of Sports Ministers on Ukraine held in London which included representatives from over 30 countries. British Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said, “There is danger here that the world wishes to move on and back to business as usual…However, the situation in Ukraine has not changed since the IOC’s initial decision last February on banning Russian and Belarusian athletes from competition.”73 Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said, “Now we see an undisguised desire to destroy the unity of international sports and the international Olympic movement, to make sport a means of pressure to resolve political issues.”74 Finally, Sebastian Coe, President of World Athletics, the international governing body of track and field, said his preferred solution would be for Russian to “get out of Ukraine.”75 The Road to the Paris Games is narrow, filled with obstacles and they have only eighteen short months to come up with a solution.


1. Laureus, Sergey Bubka, Laureus (2022), (last visited Jan 5, 2023).

2. International Olympic Committee, Beijing 2022 reveals official motto: “Together for a Shared Future,”, (last visited Sep 20, 2021). See also,

3. China News, Why does Beijing 2022 call for Together for a Shared Future?, (2022), (last visited Jan 5, 2023).

4. Reuters, “Faster, Higher, Stronger - Together”: IOC unveils updated Olympic motto, (2021), (last visited Jan 5, 2023). In Latin “Citius, Altius, Fortius – Communis”.

5. Philip O’connor, Cross-country skiing-Chaos in Norway team as Weng tests positive for COVID, (2022), (last visited Feb 9, 2022). Those unable to attend included Norway’s 2014 Olympic bronze medallist Heidi Weng, teammate Anne Kjersti Kalvaa and cross-country skiing coach Arild Monsen. Emma Terho, Chair of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission, tested positive and did not attend and the same was true of Tony Estanguet, chair of Paris 2024

6. International Olympic Committee, The Playbook, (2021),

7. Simone McCarthy & Hannah Ritchie, Olympians pushed to their limits over uncompromising Beijing Covid-19 controls, CNN (2022), (last visited Feb 8, 2022).

8. Id.

9. Id.

10. Id.

11. Id.

12. Aamer Madhani & Alexandra Jaffe, US plans diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics, AP NEWS (2021), (last visited Oct 13, 2022).

13. Victor Mather, The Diplomatic Boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, Explained, The New York Times, Feb. 6, 2020, (last visited Oct 13, 2022).

14. BBC News, Beijing Winter Olympics boycott: Why are the Games so controversial?, BBC News, Feb. 4, 2022, (last visited Oct 13, 2022).

15. Associated Press, China says US diplomatic boycott violates Olympic spirit, AP NEWS (2021), (last visited Dec 13, 2021).

16. Michael Pavitt, Bach claims Beijing 2022 enjoys support with Olympics fending off boycott ghosts, (2022), (last visited Feb 11, 2023).

17. International Olympic Committee, Olympic Charter, (2021),

18. Id.

19. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, I am Married to a U.S. Citizen, (2020), (last visited Jan 31, 2023).”language”:”en”,”title”:”I am Married to a U.S. Citizen”,”URL”:””,”author”:[{“family”:”U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services”,”given”:””}],”accessed”:{“date-parts”:[[“2023”,1,31]]},”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2020”,11,18]]}}}],”schema”:””}

20. Henry Bushnell, Bobsledder Kaillie Humphries is an Olympic favorite. The problem: She doesn’t have a country, (2021), (last visited Nov 17, 2021).

21. Les Carpenter, Bobsledder Kaillie Humphries gets U.S. citizenship and is eligible for Beijing Games, Washington Post, Dec. 2, 2021, (last visited Dec 3, 2021).

22. International Ice Hockey Federation, IIHF - Eligibility, IIHF International Ice Hockey Federation, (last visited Oct 14, 2022).

23. Elite Prospects Hockey, Jeremy Smith, (2022), (last visited Oct 14, 2022).

24. Elite Prospects Hockey, Jake Chelios, (2022), (last visited Oct 14, 2022).

25. Chris Bumbaca, Chinese Winter Olympic men’s hockey team built with players from ... North America?, USA TODAY (2022), (last visited Oct 14, 2022).

26. Id.

27. Associated Press, China’s Olympic hockey hopes rest on North American talent, including Chris Chelios’ son, WXYZ 7 Action News Detroit (2022), (last visited Feb 3, 2023).

28. International Olympic Committee, Gu Ailing Eileen, (2022), (last visited Jan 31, 2023).

29. Brett Knight & Justin Birnbaum, The World’s Highest-Paid Female Athletes 2022, Forbes (2022), (last visited Jan 31, 2023).

30. International Olympic Committee, supra note 17.

31. National Immigration Administration, Nationality Law of the People’s Republic of China, (2019), (last visited Jan 31, 2023).

32. Michael Lipin, Olympic Websites Scrub Conflicting Citizenship Info on China’s Star Winter Athlete, VOA (2022), (last visited Jan 31, 2023).

33. Michael Houston, Olympic champion Gu’s athlete bio changed after citizenship confusion, (2022), (last visited Feb 15, 2022).

34. Adrianna Zhang, Skier Who Represented China in Olympics Now Pushes US as Games Host, VOA (2022), (last visited Jan 31, 2023).

35. Court of Arbitration for Sport, Award CAS OG 22/08 -CAS OG 22/09 -CAS OG 22/10, In the arbitration between International Olympic Committee (IOC), World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), International Skating Union (ISU) v. Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), Kamila Valieva, Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), (2022),

36. Id.

37. Id. Paragraph 157.

38. Id. Paragraph 172.

39. Court of Arbitration for Sport, Media Release: The CAS Ad Hoc Division Declines To Impose A Provisional Suspension On The Russian Figure Skater Kamila Valieva, (2022),

40. Court of Arbitration for Sport, supra note 35. Paragraph 217.

41. Court of Arbitration for Sport, supra note 39. Paragraph 221.

42. International Olympic Committee, IOC EB decides no medal ceremonies following CAS decision on the case of ROC skater, (2022), (last visited Feb 9, 2023).

43. Court of Arbitration for Sport, Award CAS OG 22/11 In the arbitration between Evan Bates, Karen Chen, Nathan Chen, Madison Chock, Zachary Donohue, Brandon Frazier, Madison Hubbell, Alexa Knierim, and Vincent Zhou and the International Olympic Committee, (2022),

44. Id.

45. Duncan Mackay, Valieva cleared of doping charge by RUSADA, who rule “no fault,” (2023), (last visited Feb 9, 2023).

46. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General’s Message Calling for the Observance of the Olympic Truce for the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games, United Nations (2022), (last visited Jan 8, 2023).

47. International Olympic Committee, UN General Assembly adopts Olympic Truce for Beijing 2022, highlighting the contribution of sport to the promotion of peace and solidarity, International Olympic Committee (2021), (last visited Jan 8, 2023).

48. Alison Durkee, IOC ‘Strongly Condemns’ Russia For Violating ‘Olympic Truce’ By Invading Ukraine, Forbes (2022), (last visited Jan 8, 2023).

49. International Olympic Committee, IOC strongly condemns the breach of the Olympic Truce, International Olympic Committee (2022), (last visited Jan 8, 2023).

50. Alan Abrahamson, A Russian dilemma: is an athlete ban morally “right”? Is it lawful?, 3 Wire Sports (2022), (last visited Mar 3, 2022).including Russian athletes, from international sport. The reason for this move is clear. It’s Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, launched on February 24. So there is no mistake, no equivocating about language — it’s, from the words o”,”container-title”:”3 Wire Sports”,”language”:”en-US”,”title”:”A Russian dilemma: is an athlete ban morally ‘right’? Is it lawful?”,”title-short”:”A Russian dilemma”,”URL”:””,”author”:[{“family”:”Abrahamson”,”given”:”Alan”}],”accessed”:{“date-parts”:[[“2022”,3,3]]},”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2022”,3,2]]}}}],”schema”:””}

51. International Olympic Committee, IOC EB recommends no participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials, International Olympic Committee (2022), (last visited Jan 8, 2023).

52. Id.

53. Id.

54. Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique, Russian gymnast sanctioned with one year ban by the Disciplinary Commission, (2022), (last visited Jan 11, 2023).

55. Julia Shapero, Russian swimmer banned from competition after appearing at pro-Putin rally, Axios (2022), (last visited Jan 8, 2023).

56. Associated Press, FINA bans Russian, Belarusian swimmers from world championships over war in Ukraine, (2022), (last visited Jan 8, 2023).

57. International Olympic Committee, supra note 49.

58. International Olympic Committee, supra note 51.

59. Duncan Mackay, Bubka insists “Ukraine will win” after declaring love for country, (2022), (last visited Jan 8, 2023).

60. Id.

61. Id.

62. David Owen, Pound advises Bach not to seek to prolong reign as IOC President, (2023), (last visited Feb 10, 2023).

63. International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach re-elected as IOC President for second term, International Olympic Committee (2021), (last visited Feb 10, 2023).

64. International Olympic Committee, “Give peace a chance,” International Olympic Committee (2022), (last visited Feb 10, 2023).

65. Abrahamson, supra note 50.including Russian athletes, from international sport. The reason for this move is clear. It’s Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, launched on February 24. So there is no mistake, no equivocating about language — it’s, from the words o”,”container-title”:”3 Wire Sports”,”language”:”en-US”,”title”:”A Russian dilemma: is an athlete ban morally ‘right’? Is it lawful?”,”title-short”:”A Russian dilemma”,”URL”:””,”author”:[{“family”:”Abrahamson”,”given”:”Alan”}],”accessed”:{“date-parts”:[[“2022”,3,3]]},”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2022”,3,2]]}}}],”schema”:””}

66. International Olympic Committee, Statement on solidarity with Ukraine, sanctions against Russia and Belarus, and the status of athletes from these countries, International Olympic Committee (2023), (last visited Feb 9, 2023).

67. Id.

68. Graham Dunbar, Russia issue looms for Paris Olympics, Zelenskyy rebukes IOC, AP NEWS (2023), (last visited Feb 9, 2023).

69. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Any neutral flag of Russian athletes is stained with blood – address of the President of Ukraine, Official website of the President of Ukraine (2023), (last visited Feb 11, 2023).

70. Associated Press, IOC pushes back against Paris mayor on banning Russian, Belarusian athletes from 2024 Olympics, France 24 (2023), (last visited Feb 10, 2023).

71. Id.

72. The Japan Times, IOC President Thomas Bach responds to Ukraine’s call to boycott Paris Games, The Japan Times (2023), (last visited Feb 10, 2023).

73. Associated Press, Zelenskyy tells summit ‘no place’ for Russia at Olympics, News Tribune (2023), (last visited Feb 11, 2023).

74. Reuters, Moscow says calls to ban Russian athletes from Olympics “unacceptable,” (2023), (last visited Feb 11, 2023).

75. Sky Sports, Paris Olympics: Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy says “no place” for Russia at 2024 Games while invasion continues, (2023), (last visited Feb 11, 2023).

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By John T. Wendt

John T. Wendt serves as a Professor Emeritus of Ethics and Business Law Department in the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas. He also serves as a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Lausanne, Switzerland) and on the American Arbitration Association Panels. Professor Wendt wishes to thank Professor Wendy Biddle for her valuable contributions to this article. He can be reached at [email protected].