Sunday, December 10th, 2017 pm31 6:05pm

Do you believe in miracles? Russia finally banned for PED use

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They did it. Stunningly, the members of the International Olympic Committee’s executive board did it. They just kicked the bums out.

Russia has been suspended from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The most diabolical state-sponsored doping machine of our time, and the worst since East Germany a generation ago, has finally received the punishment it deserves.

Only those athletes who can prove they have not been cheating by being cleared by a panel that appears to be independent and in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency, the world’s doping police, will be allowed in Pyeongchang. And even then, they will not be able to wear Russian uniforms or compete under the Russian flag or listen to the Russian anthem should they win a gold medal.

In the long, tangled history of the Olympics and performance-enhancing drugs, there has never been a finer moment.

More: IOC suspends Russia; clears path for Russians to compete as neutral athletes in Pyeongchang

Watch: IOC announces decision on sanctions against Russia

How significant is this? Picture a medal ceremony two months into the future. Say it’s figure skating. Two-time defending world champion Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia, who is injured at the moment, comes back to win the gold. She climbs to the top rung of the medal stand, wearing a neutral warmup (reportedly made by Nike, who else?) with the words “Olympic Athlete from Russia.” No Russian blue, red and white. No Russian sponsors over her heart.

The medal is put around her neck. The silver and bronze medalists receive their medals. It’s now time for the Russian national anthem, but there is no Russian national anthem. The Olympic Anthem will be played instead.

And look at the flags. There’s the flag of the silver medalist and the bronze (if they aren’t Russian). But for Medvedeva in this scenario? The white Olympic flag with its five colored rings.

No uniform. No flag. No anthem. Over and over again, for every Russian who can prove they are innocent and goes on to win a gold medal. Or even a silver or bronze – except for the anthem.

What a visual display this will be. What an embarrassment for Russia, for every single official who helped deprive athletes from other nations who played by the rules out of the medals they deserved in Sochi, in Rio, in London.

And, what a wonderful comeuppance this is for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Incredibly, the IOC, the oldest of the world’s old boys clubs, turned its back on one of its own. It told Putin, the man who spent $51 billion to give the IOC a grand if sterile Winter Olympics in Sochi just four years ago, to get lost.

Putin must have thought his $51 billion had guaranteed him a lifetime of free passes from the IOC. He must have thought there was no way the IOC would kick out one of the great Olympic super powers of the past 60 years. He must have figured he could wiggle his way out of this one with threats and denials, just as he did a year and a half ago in Rio, when Russia avoided the punishment it deserved then.

Putin was wrong. The IOC majestically stood up to him, and defied him. I’ve covered the Olympics since 1984. I never thought I’d see this.

There are many twists and turns left in this saga as individual Russian athletes will now try to petition their way into the Games, but the fact remains, Russia as a nation is out of the upcoming Olympic Games. Russia has been punished severely. Russia is now cloaked in international disgrace.

The bad guys just lost, big time.

Olympic flame begins journey from Greece to South Korea for 2018 Games

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An actress in the role of a priestess, holds an archaic

An actress in the role of a priestess, holds an archaic pot with the Olympic Flame during the Lighting Ceremony of the Olympic Flame for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in front of the Hera Temple in Ancient Olympia, Greece on Oct. 24, 2017. The flame will make a 1,254 mile journey through South Korea starting on Nov. 1 2017. The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics will be held from Feb. 9 until Feb. 25, 2018.  Yannis Kolesidis, European Pressphoto Agency
Greece's President Prokopis Pavlopoulos (C), International

Greece’s President Prokopis Pavlopoulos (C), International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach (L), and South Korea’s Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon (2-R), attend the Lighting Ceremony of the Olympic Flame.  Yannis Kolesidis, European Pressphoto Agency
An actress portraying a High priestess passes the Olympic

An actress portraying a High priestess passes the Olympic flame at the Temple of Hera during a lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame.  Milos Bicanski, Getty Images
Greek actress Katerina Lechou, in the role of the High

Greek actress Katerina Lechou, in the role of the High Priestess, holds the torch of the Olympic Flame during the Lighting Ceremony of the Olympic Flame for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in front of the Hera Temple in Ancient Olympia, Greece.  Yannis Kolesidis, European Pressphoto Agency
Actress Katerina Lehou as high priestess, right, lights

Actress Katerina Lehou as high priestess, right, lights the torch of bearer Greek cross-country skier Apostolos Angelis during the lighting ceremony.  Petros Giannakouris, AP
Actress Katerina Lehou as high priestess, right, gives

Actress Katerina Lehou as high priestess, right, gives an olive branch to torch bearer Greek cross-country skier Apostolos Angelis.  Petros Giannakouris, AP
The first torchbearer, Greek cross country skier Apostolos

The first torchbearer, Greek cross country skier Apostolos Angelis (front L) runs with the Olympic torch.  YANNIS KOLESIDIS, EPA-EFE
Second torchbearer for Pyeongchang 2018, former South

Second torchbearer for Pyeongchang 2018, former South Korean international soccer player Park Ji-Sung (R) passes the relay of the Olympic flame near the Temple of Hera on Oct. 24, 2017.  Aris Messinis, AFP/Getty Images
South Korean former soccer player Park Ji-Sung runs

South Korean former soccer player Park Ji-Sung runs with the an Olympic torch flame.  Milos Bicanski, Getty Images

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