Press release №2029
22.12.2017
RUSSIAN ATHLETES AT THE 2018 WINTER OPYMPICS

IN BRIEF

  • Only 7% of Russians consider that Russian athletes are to blame for the suspension of the Russian team
  • 62% support the decision of the Russian athletes to compete under neutral flag

Most of Russians support the decision of the Russian athletes to compete at the 2018 Olympic Games under neutral flag.

MOSCOW, December 22, 2017. The Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data of a survey devoted to the IOC’s decision to suspend the Russian national team from the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Suspension of the Russian team drew a wide response: almost an absolute majority of Russians are aware of the IOC decision (97%). Most of Russians think that international political institutions are responsible for the situation that happened (45%).

More than one-quarter of respondents (29%) put the blame on the Russian sports officials. Only 7% consider that Russian athletes are the guilty party. Sixty-two percent of respondents support the idea that the approved athletes should perform under neutral flag; 33% disagree with that. Every fifth (55%) says that any victory of any Russian athlete will be an achievement for the entire Russian sport.

Though 59% of respondents think that the IOC’s ban will decrease (completely or partially) the chances for certain Russian athletes to achieve high results, 60% do believe that Russian athletes are able to be in the top three medal-winning countries (including 25% of those who think that they can take the first position).

The VCIOM-Sputnik survey was conducted on December 14, 17, 2017. The survey involved 1,200 Russians aged 18 and over, and was carried out using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating in Russia. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 3.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided not to allow Russia to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games after doping allegations against certain Russian athletes. Do you know about that/have you heard something/do you hear for the first time about that? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents Aged  18-24 Aged  25-34 Aged  35-44 Aged  45-59 Aged  60 and more
I am well aware  49 34 37 43 54 62
I heard something but I do not know any details 48 56 54 54 46 38
This is the first time I hear about that 3 10 9 3 0 0
In your opinion, who is to blame for the decision to suspend the Russian team from the 2018 Olympics? (closed-ended question, not more than 2 answers, %)
  Total respondents
Political forces of other countries 45
Russian sports officials 29
Interactional sports organizations (IOC, WADA, etc.) 28
Athletes themselves 7
Doctors 6
Coaches 5
Russian sports organizations (Russian Olympic Committee, RUSADA, etc.) 5
Others 6
Don’t know 7
International Olympic Committee (IOC) allowed certain Russian athletes to participate in the 2018 Olympics under neutral flag and banned Russia from using the national flag. Russian athletes decided to agree to compete under neutral flag.  Do you support or oppose this decision? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents Moscow and St. Petersburg Million cities More than 500 ths 100–500 ths Less than 100 ths Rural area
Likely to support 62 68 71 62 60 60 58
Likely to oppose 33 27 20 33 36 36 35
Don’t know 5 5 9 5 4 4 7
In your opinion, if a Russian athlete participates in the Olympics under neutral flag, will his/her victory be treated as Russia’s achievement or his/her personal achievement?  (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents Aged  18-24 Aged  25-34 Aged  35-44 Aged  45-59 Aged  60 and more
The victory of a Russian athlete who does not play for any team can be treated as the achievement of Russia and Russian sport 55 48 45 55 60 58
The victory of a Russian athlete who does not play for any team can only be treated as his/her personal achievement 39 50 49 40 34 33
Don’t know 6 2 6 5 5 9
In your opinion, will the doping allegations reduce the chances to achieve high results or have no impact on the performance of certain Russian athletes who are allowed to participate in the 2018 Winter Games?  (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents
It will considerably reduce their chances to get high results 36
It can slightly reduce their chances to get high results 23
It will have no impact on their performance 34
Don’t know 7
In your opinion, how will Russian athletes perform at the upcoming Winter Olympics? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents Men Women Aged  18-24 Aged  25-34 Aged  35-44 Aged  45-59 Aged  60 and more
They will get second or third ranking in the medal count 35 31 38 33 37 27 34 39
Russians athletes will not be among top medal winners 28 37 21 34 26 32 31 23
They will get the first ranking in the medal count 25 20 30 28 27 31 22 22
Don’t know 12 12 11 5 10 10 13 16

Note: Using materials from the site www.wciom.ru or wciom.com, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory!

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