Russian Federation banned from 2018 Winter Olympics over state-sponsored doping

06 December, 2017, 00:52 | Author: Phil Peters
  • IOC suspends Russian NOC and creates a path for clean individual athletes to compete in PyeongChang 2018 under the Olympic Flag

"Clean" Russian athletes will be "invited" to take part in the Winter Olympics in South Korea next year, though they will be required to compete under the Olympic flag.

The decision stems from an ongoing investigation into state-sponsored Russian doping during the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

IOC President Thomas Bach and other members of the Olympic governing body pronounced Russia's fate at a news conference that was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET. The Olympic anthem will be played in place of the Russian anthem at medal ceremonies.

This year the team will be called Olympic athletes from Russian Federation.

The collective action comes as an International Olympic Committee commission has disqualified 25 Russian athletes from Sochi, resulting in the loss of 11 medals.

More on this as it develops.

The IOC Executive Board today studied and discussed the findings of the Commission led by the former President of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid, addressing the systematic manipulation of the anti-doping system in Russian Federation. Separately, the Oswald commission, set up by the International Olympic Committee to examine Russian doping in Sochi in 2014, began to ban Russian competitors from those Games retrospectively.

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Meanwhile the credibility of the Russian whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, who ran the Moscow anti-doping laboratory before fleeing past year and revealing what he knew to McLaren, was recently enhanced by the Oswald commission, who confirmed that he was a "truthful witness".

Instead, Russia blames Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of Moscow and Sochi testing laboratories, as a rogue employee.

The executive board reached its decision Tuesday after a scheduled 4½-hour debate when it heard from a Russian delegation that included world figure skating champion Evgenia Medvedeva. The New York Times is reporting that the International Olympic Committee has handed Russian Federation some stiff punishment for their systematic doping. One Russian was cleared. In May, it was reported that Russian athletes taking performance-enhancing drugs were protected by a urine-swapping scheme.

Russian lawmakers and other officials quickly rejected the International Olympic Committee decision, saying it was influenced by politics.

Meanwhile, Russian coaches and athletes were vehemently condemning the decision and discussing how it could be appealed.

Of the growing number of athletes who have been stripped of their medals, Bach said the IOC is looking at how to give the clean athletes who are elevated to the podium the recognition they deserve as they are recognized with Olympic medals.

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