World

International Olympic Committee ban Russian Federation from 2018 Winter Olympics over doping

International Olympic Committee ban Russian Federation from 2018 Winter Olympics over doping

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, who won two gold medals in fencing for West Germany during the 1970s, was disturbed with what was uncovered.

Putin said in October that both a blanket ban and allowing Russian Federation to compete under a neutral flag would be "humiliation for the country".

The IOC punishment did leave room for many Russians to compete under the name "Olympic Athlete from Russia" or OAR.

Neutral flag (also called white) - this is the flag of the Olympic games with five rings.

"It sounds like a really good compromise to me", said Stuart Benson, who raced on the British four-man bobsled team that placed fifth in Sochi, but which now hopes for the bronze medal after two Russian sleds were disqualified.

The IOC also banned Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko for life over his involvement in the scandal - he was the Russian Sports Minister during the Sochi Games.

The bans came as a result of an International Olympic Committee investigation into allegations of widespread doping among Russians and sample tampering by laboratory and security officials at the Sochi Olympics.

It said this confirmed the "unprecedented nature of the cheating scheme and, as a effect, the exceptional damage to the integrity of the IOC, the Olympic Games and the entire Olympic Movement".

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and International Olympic Committee confirmed Rodchenkov's account.

Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov was suspended as a member of the IOC.

The US Olympic Committee praised the IOC's announcement.

The IOC's decision to choose a more moderate path, instead of a blanket ban, does offer some Russian athletes a path to competing in the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea - although that will be by invitation only and dependent on a stringent testing programme. "The IOC [executive board], after following due process, has issued proportional sanctions for this systemic manipulation while protecting the clean athletes", IOC President Thomas Bach said.

That is, if Russian President Vladimir Putin allows them to go to the February 9-25 games.

However, the commission said it had not found "any documented, independent and impartial evidence confirming the support or the knowledge of this system by the highest State authority". But Russia's success at those Olympics, according to former Moscow antidoping lab director Grigory Rodchenkov, came with some assistance behind the scenes. So far the figure stands at 25 athletes, with 11 medals stripped. The two also made a statement applauding the IOC's decision.


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