IOC Bans Russia From 2018 Winter Olympics


The New York Times is reporting that Russia's Olympic team has been barred from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

However, individual Russian athletes - who meet strict anti-doping regulations - will be allowed to compete as an "Olympic Athlete from Russia", under the Olympic flag. The IOC's decision follows a probe into the country's alleged "systematic doping manipulation". So far the figure stands at 25 athletes, with 11 medals stripped.

More than two dozen Russian athletes had already been banned from participation in the wake of a November claim by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that Russia had been non-compliant in anti-doping standards.

"These invited athletes will participate, be it in individual or team competitions, in the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 under the name "Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)".

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Russian athletes are among those targeted most with the nation awaiting the International Olympic Committee decision on its participation at February's Pyeongchang winter Olympics following the widespread doping scandal in the country.

McLaren's report showed more than 1,000 Russian athletes were involved in a broader system to dope and cover up positive tests.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously said it would be humiliating for Russia to compete without national symbols. IOC President Thomas Bach led a meeting Tuesday of the IOC Executive Board in Lausanne that took action against Russian Federation over a doping scandal that began more than two years ago with revelations of a corrupted anti-doping system.

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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The Committee decided "not to accredit any official from the Russian Ministry of Sport for the Olympic Winter Games".

Yet, they still opted for a route that allows Russian athletes who may have benefited from the doping scheme to compete. The IOC instead asked sports governing bodies to decide which athletes could compete.

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

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