Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov told reporters today that his nation is considering a bid to host the 2028 Summer Olympic Games. Despite Russia being heavily in the mix of a systematic doping scandal, as revealed in the McLaren Report this summer, Zhukov says that the cities of St. Petersburg, Sochi and Kazan could all be candidates potentially brought forth as options to host the world’s largest international summer sporting competition.
Says Zhukov of Russia as an Olympic host, “It’s hard to say now, but why not? I think it’s completely possible to try.” In addition to having hosted the American-boycotted 1980 Olympic Games, Russia has recent Olympic experience. Sochi hosted the 2014 Winter Olympic Games and Zhukov himself is currently serving as Head of the Commission overseeing the 2022 Winter Olympics preparation in Beijing, China.
However, in light of the McLaren Report, the entire Russian weightlifting team was banned from competing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, while just one of the 68-member track and field team was able to compete at the event. Medalists from both the Beijing and London Games have been stripped of medals due to now-proven doping, casting a shadow over the entire nation’s athletes across all sports.
The 2024 Games bidding process is still underway, with the cities of Los Angeles, Budapest and Paris still in the running. The host of the 2028 edition would not be selected until at least 2021, although bidding may begin as early as 2019.