Fans unfurl Putin banners at Russian Olympic hockey game; security quickly takes them down

Remember, sports fans. Russia is not competing at the Olympic Games.

Russia was naughty and cheated in Sochi, so the International Olympic Committee came down hard with sanctions that made sure Russian athletes would not appear in PyeongChang after their complex doping scheme in 2014.

No, wait. Make that Russian flags that the IOC banned. Russian athletes, you’re OKAll 168 of you.

The IOC’s feckless attempt to neuter the Russian delegation has been ineffective. While the Russian national anthem won’t be heard and its flag not officially waved, Russia’s presence on the field of competition and among its scorned fanbase is strong.

A fan holds up a flag during the men’s hockey game between the team from Russia and Slovenia on Friday. (AP)

That fanbase made its presence known Friday during Russia’s, ahem … during the Olympic Athletes from Russia’s men’s hockey game against Slovenia, where fans in the stands displayed banners with the likeness of Russian President Vladimir Putin and pro-Russia slogans.

Olympic officials did not like that. While there are unfortunately no known images of the banners, a reporter from the Associated Press chronicled the unveiling of the banners and subsequent response from security officials.

If the timeline of those tweets is accurate, it took security approximately 19 minutes to remove the pro-Russia propaganda from the arena from the time that it was unveiled.

Keep up the good work, IOC. Nobody outside of PyeongChang saw those banners. The charade of a Russia ban is still intact.