International Olympic Committee bans Russian Federation from Winter Olympics

Dec 06, 2017, 00:40
International Olympic Committee bans Russian Federation from Winter Olympics

Russians won't compete in the Pyeongchang Olympics under their own flag, if they compete at all, following a decision from the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday.

The IOC ruled that some Russians will be invited to compete as an "Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)" without their national flag or anthem.

The Kremlin did not immediately comment on the decision, but on Monday spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was not considering a boycott, though President Vladimir Putin would make the final decision.

The Russian doping scandal has hit world sport and the country itself hard, as medal after medal has been stripped from the hosts of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Some had feared a repeat performance from the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday, despite a second report by McLaren in December 2016 which confirmed that more than 1,000 Russian athletes had been involved in, or benefited from, state-sponsored doping.

Ultimately, the IOC's acceptance of the evidence that Russian had run the system led it to a different decision than it reached past year when it sought to balance collective responsibility with individual justice. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries.

That was the punishment issued Tuesday to the proud sports juggernaut that has long used the Olympics as a show of global force but was exposed for systematic doping in previously unfathomable ways.

The IOC also imposed lifetime Olympic ban on Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, organizer of soccer's 2018 World Cup.

That Oswald Commission called the Russian doping system "one of the worst ever blows against the integrity and reputation of the Olympic Games".

Ahead of the anti-doping agencies of 17 countries, including the United States, had demanded the International Olympic Committee impose a blanket ban, issuing a collective statement in September that it was time for the body to stop "paying lip-service" to the anti-doping fight.

Second part of McLaren Report published, alleging state-sponsored doping by the Russians between 2011 and 2015 with sample tampering at the 2012 London Olympics and Sochi 2014.

Russian athletes will compete at the PyeongChang Olympics, but only under terms set by the IOC. Athletes in other Summer Olympic sports could compete only if certified by their respective worldwide federations.

The US Olympic Committee praised the IOC's announcement.

Russian Federation have been stripped of 11 of their 33 Sochi medals for cheating, meaning they have lost their position at the top of the medals table to Norway. Investigators say Russian officials went to elaborate means to ensure a better showing - and it worked, as Russia's athletes more than doubled their medal count by winning 33 medals (13 of them gold), the most of any country.

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