IOC Bans Russia From 2018 Winter Olympics

IOC suspends Russian NOC and creates a path for clean individual athletes to compete in PyeongChang 2018 under the Olympic Flag

Russia's Olympic Committee (ROC) has been banned from the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics next year after the prolonged doping scandal but some athletes will be allowed to compete under the tag of "Olympic Athlete of Russia", the International Olympic Committee said on Tuesday.

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. The Russian flag will not fly and its anthem will not play during the opening, closing and medal ceremonies.

Mutko, who was sports minister at the time of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, remains head of the 2018 World Cup organizing committee.

More on this as it develops. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said it would be humiliating for Russia to compete without national symbols.

"It is unclear how Russian Federation may be affected moving forward and if they have a chance at reinstatement for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games".

Russian athletes will compete at the PyeongChang Olympics, but only under terms set by the IOC. When the Olympics came to Russian soil, according to Rodchenkov, he ran a clandestine effort, with the assistance of government agents, to replace tainted urine samples taken from cheating Russian athletes during the Sochi Games with clean urine samples he collected months before.

IOC Bans Russia From 2018 Winter Olympics
IOC Bans Russia From 2018 Winter Olympics

He added that International Olympic Committee will likely have conducted 20,000 separate doping tests on potential 2018 competitors before the Games open, part of an effort to turn the page on an era plagued by damaging doping scandals.

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

The IOC says more than 17 percent of samples were taken from Russians.

There had been suggestions beforehand that such a punishment might lead to a wholesale Russian boycott of the Winter Olympics. Hundreds of Russian athletes landed in Rio and they won 56 medals. Russia was certainly going to pick up the slack, likely cruising to a gold medal in the process by allowing their professional players in the KHL (the overwhelming majority of whom are Russian) to play in the Olympics.

The IOC has also been declaring sanctioned athletes to be ineligible for future Olympics as it strips them of their victories - an approach that has promised to reshape the field for the upcoming 2018 PyeongChang games in South Korea.

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