Russia's Channel One Will Broadcast Olympics, Despite Team's Ban

Winter Olympics

Channel One announced its decision Tuesday after Russia's Olympic Committee said it would support athletes who choose to compete in South Korea despite the restrictions imposed by the IOC, the RBC business portal reported.

The Oswald Commission, set up by the IOC to examine doping allegations in Russia, led to the retrospective punishment of 25 Russian Olympic team members, who were given lifetime Olympic bans and had their Sochi records annulled by the IOC.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) last week banned Russian Federation from the Games, due to take place in Pyeongchang in February, for what it called "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of the anti-doping system.

According to Peskov, Putin stated earlier that there would be no obstacles in the way of Russian athletes if they made a personal decision to travel to South Korea's PyeongChang for the 2018 Winter Games, reports Tass news agency.

"The bottom line is that Russian athletes expressed their willingness to participate in the PyeongChang Games despite these very hard conditions and the decision made by International Olympic Committee which is unfair to a large extent and that is what everyone said".

The ROC will also provide "overall support" to athletes not invited to compete under the neutral flag or who will refuse to participate in the Games, he said.

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On Monday, the ROC athletes commission made a single statement on behalf of Russia's winter sports athletes, explaining they were "fully prepared" to take part in the Games under a neutral flag.

Alexander Zhukov, the ROC head, said in a separate statement in the ROC Twitter account that over 200 Russian athletes may be qualified to participate in the 2018 Winter Games. "For the sake of this, we are ready to go to the Olympic Games and prove that Russian athletes are strong in their talent, skills, will and spirit, rather than in what we are trying to accuse us", the address says.

The lead International Olympic Committee investigator said the doping scheme "caused unprecedented damage to Olympism and to sports".

In recent weeks, the IOC has been issuing a steady flow of sanctions against Russia's Olympic athletes who were caught doping during the Sochi Winter Olympics of 2014.

Those retrospective bans means Russian Federation, traditionally a major force in winter sports, has dropped from first to fourth in the 2014 medal table.

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