Russian Federation banned from Winter Olympics but 'clean' athletes can compete

RUSADA remains non-compliant with the World Anti Doping Agency

RUSADA remains non-compliant with the World Anti Doping Agency

With AP Photos.Russian athletes will be allowed to compete at the upcoming Pyeongchang Olympics but not under their country's flag. They would have to pass drug tests to prove they were clean and also did not benefit from the Sochi scheme. Athletes approved by the panel will compete in a uniform with "Olympic Athlete from Russia" written on it and under an Olympic flag. "Requirements have been issued to the worldwide federations and RUSADA (Russian anti-doping agency) for the level of testing of those athletes", he said.

The suspension follows a report of findings by the International Olympic Committee, led by the former President of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid, that address the systematic manipulation of the anti-doping system in Russian Federation.

The ban does offer a pathway for individual, clean Russian athletes to still participate in the upcoming Games in Pyeongchang, which start February 9.

"Of course we want our athletes there, and we want the Russian flag and anthem", he said.

The US Olympic Committee praised the IOC's announcement.

Tuesday's decision may have major consequences for another major sports event, next year's $11 billion soccer World Cup in Russian Federation. The IOC has also banned Mutko and his deputy Yury Nagornykh from future games. due to their direct involvement with the state-sponsored doping.

The Russian authorities have vehemently denied any state involvement in doping and pledged to work with global sports bodies to curb the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs in the country. The Olympic anthem will play when Russian athletes earn medals.

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. A review of the results from Russian athletes in the past few months has led to the disqualification of more than two dozen Russians from Sochi. But Russia's success at those Olympics, according to former Moscow antidoping lab director Grigory Rodchenkov, came with some assistance behind the scenes.

Rodchenkov, who was the subject of the Netflix documentary "Icarus" earlier this year, is living somewhere in the United States under the protection of federal authorities.

The executive board reached its decision Tuesday after a scheduled 4½-hour debate when it heard from a Russian delegation that included world figure skating champion Evgenia Medvedeva.

The IOC ruled that Russian Federation was guilty of executing a state-backed doping program.

The Russian doping program caused "unprecedented damage to Olympism and sports", said IOC-appointed investigator Samuel Schmid, the former president of Switzerland who was asked to verify an "institutional conspiracy". One Russian was cleared.

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