IOC bans Russian Olympic Committee for 2018 Games

06 December, 2017, 01:04 | Author: Diane Mills
  • IOC bans Russian Olympic Committee for 2018 Games

The International Olympic Committee has barred Russian Federation from competing in the 2018 Pyeongchang Games because of doping violations, but the group will allow athletes from the country to compete as neutrals.

After CAS dismisses the Russian appeal, the International Olympic Committee executive decides that any Russian wanting to compete in Rio will have to prove that he or she was not involved in doping. However some Russian athletes will be allowed to compete in South Korea under a neutral flag, providing they can prove they are not implicated in the doping scandal and have also undergone regular anti-doping tests.

"These invited athletes will participate, be it in individual or team competitions, under the name 'Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)'".

The IOC announced the decision after examining evidence of state-sponsored doping over several years that reached a high-point at the Winter Olympics hosted in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.

In Rio, Russia was allowed to field a team that was one-third the normal size, with the IAAF refusing to allow any Russians to compete.

The IOC also ordered the ROC to reimburse the costs of the IOC investigation and to contribute $15 million to the establishment of the Independent Testing Authority.

IOC President Thomas Bach called the situation "an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport".

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko attends an event for the 2018 World Cup in Moscow on November 30, 2017.

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A delegation from Russia led by Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhokov was on hand at IOC headquarters to receive the first word of the IOC decision. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said it would be humiliating for Russia to compete without national symbols.

"This should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system led by WADA", he added, referring to the World Anti-Doping Agency.

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

The IOC made the ruling after a yearlong investigation into systematic doping by Russian athletes.

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

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.

The executive board reached its decision Tuesday after a scheduled 4 1/2-hour debate when it heard from a Russian delegation that included world figure skating champion Evgenia Medvedeva.

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