Russians can compete at Olympics, but without flag — IOC

Russians can compete at Olympics, but without flag — IOC

Russia will be barred from the 2018 Olympics, no Russian officials will be allowed at the games, the Russian flag will not be present, and Russia will not be awarded any medals.

It was also chose to "invite individual Russian athletes under strict conditions (see below) to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018".

The commission noted that the McLaren Report did not mention that the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) participated in the system.

Russian athletes will compete at the PyeongChang Olympics, but only under terms set by the IOC. They would have to pass drug tests to prove they were clean and also did not benefit from the Sochi scheme.

The Winter Olympics will be held from February 9-25.

Thomas Bach, the president of the IOC, has said he was perturbed not only by Russia's widespread cheating but by how it had been accomplished: by corrupting the Olympic laboratory that handled drug testing at the games, and on orders from Russia's own Olympic officials.

If it was a victory to have the word "Russia" in the team name and invite some Russian athletes to compete, it came at a cost.

The politician is now head of the organising committee for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

Mutko heads the organizing committee of soccer's next World Cup. His spokesman, Dmitry S. Peskov, has said no boycott was under discussion before the announcement, however, and the news broke late in the evening in Moscow when an immediate official reaction was unlikely.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said she was with the country's athletes in spirit.

Tuesday's decision may have major consequences for another major sports event, next year's $11 billion soccer World Cup in Russian Federation.

The invitation list will be decided upon by a panel led by the Chair of the Independent Testing Authority (ITA), Velerie Fourneyron, but it will be the International Olympic Committee who ultimately decides who gets to compete in PyeongChang. "The IOC EB, after following due process, has issued proportional sanctions for this systemic manipulation while protecting the clean athletes", Bach said in a statement. Some Russian MPs immediately raised the possibility that Russia may boycott the Winter Olympics, with the first deputy speaker of Russia's parliament, Ivan Melnikov, saying it would be "incorrect" for Russia's team to travel to Pyeongchang under a neutral flag. Such denials helped ensure bans on its track federation and anti-doping agency have not been lifted.

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". It wants the scientist extradited from the United States, where he is a protected witness. The delegation was led by Zhukov, who was later suspended.

Bach was joined Tuesday by Samuel Schmid, the former president of Switzerland, who led a commission investigating the allegations against Russian Federation.

The chairman of that disciplinary panel, Swiss lawyer Denis Oswald, reported about prosecuting Russian athletes implicated in cheating at Sochi. 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.

At Rio, around 270 Russians are cleared to compete, with 111 excluded.

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