Feb 4, 2014; Sochi, RUSSIA; Russian Federation president Vladimir Putin speaks during the Opening of the IOC Session prior to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games at Zimny Theatre. | Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

When the Paris Olympics host their Opening Ceremonies, it’s going to be a flashback to 1984 (the year, not the book).

That’s because Russia isn’t going to be there.

Last October, the International Olympic Committee suspended the Russian Olympic Committee from the 2024 Games due to the ROC “incorporating four sports bodies representing regions of Ukraine.”

The IOC concluded that this action “constitutes a breach of the Olympic charter because it violates the territorial integrity of the (National Olympic Committee) of Ukraine.”

Last week, the Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed Russia’s appeal of the suspension. This means that Russia will not have any official presence in Paris this summer, not even under the “Russian Olympic Committee” pseudonym that they used to compete in the Tokyo Games.

Essentially, the IOC just gave Vladimir Putin a “Bye, Felicia.” And lived to tell the tale after calling him Felicia.

Under this suspension, Russian athletes can technically still qualify and compete at the Paris Olympics. But they will be competing under the even more vague Individual Neutral Athletes category.

So if you see any Olympians waving a blank banner that says “FLAG,” you’ll know where they’re from.

Thanks to this decision, Russia will have no acknowledged presence at the Olympics for the first time since 1984, when the Soviet Union boycotted the Los Angeles Games. They did this in retaliation against the United States’ refusal to attend the 1980 Moscow Olympics following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

As the (possibly apocryphal) Mark Twain saying goes, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.”

Predictably, Russia is taking this decision about as well as Putin after hearing the word “nyet.”

In an official response, the ROC stated, “This CAS ruling is yet more evidence that civil and sports discrimination directed against Russians has reached an unprecedented scale in the run-up to the Games in Paris.”

Perhaps Russia can take solace that they’ll be favored to win gold any time the IOC makes crying me a river an Olympic event.

Russia has the option of taking its appeal to the Swiss supreme court but has not announced whether or not it will do so.

For LGBTQ fans, the Olympics were already going to be a must-watch regardless. But now that the IOC has told Putin “Thank U, Next,” there will be an added layer of schadenfreude that should make the Games extra enjoyable.

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