Russian Olympic Team Banned From 2018 Games

06 December, 2017, 01:04 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Russian fan holds the country's national flag over the Olympic

If you've only seen the headlines so far, you might be we wondering why Russian Federation was banned from the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, next year - and why the International Olympic Committee decided on such a severe punishment.

Schmid's report, delivered to the 14-strong executive board on Monday, was enough to persuade International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach to take what he had previously considered to be a "nuclear option" with "too much collateral damage".

Russian athletes will be allowed to stand on the medal podium at the Winter Olympics - just not with their anthem playing or their nation's flag rising above them.

Those athletes who do go to the Games, which start on February 9, will participate under the name "Olympic Athlete from Russian Federation". The Olympic anthem will be played in place of the Russian anthem at medal ceremonies.

The IOC told a news conference that the Schmid report confirmed "the systematic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russian Federation".

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In a statement released after it met in Lausanne, Switzerland, the committee said it had acted upon the recommendations of an IOC commission headed by the former Swiss President Samuel Schmid to investigate Russian doping.

At the State Kremlin Palace on December 1, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said at a joint news conference with Mutko that the IOC's decision would not affect the World Cup.

The commission based its findings on an independent report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren that was commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency and published previous year.

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

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

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Any Russian athlete hoping to earn invitations to Pyeongchang will have to come through a stricter-than-usual testing regime and not have a doping violation on their record.

"This should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system led by WADA", he added, referring to the World Anti-Doping Agency. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) sets up an independent commission headed by its former chief, Dick Pound, to investigate the claims.

The IOC said Russian athletes would be invited to Pyeongchang at its discretion, based on qualifying for individual sports and passing several drug tests.

The Pyeongchang games run through February 25. It wants the scientist extradited from the United States, where he is a protected witness.

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