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Russia Banned from 2018 Winter Olympics by IOC

Russia Banned from 2018 Winter Olympics by IOC”

The International Olympic Committee on Tuesday banned the entire Russian Olympic team from the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea, over a doping scandal - with the event two months away.

Speaking at the press conference announcing the ruling of the IOC Executive was Samuel Schmid, the Swiss politician who led the IOC inquiry into whether anti-doping subterfuge was carried out with the backing of the Russian government.

The IOC's executive board announced that it has suspended the Russian Olympic Committee, a move that effectively bans the country nearly two months before the opening of the Games, but created a path for individuals to compete as neutral athletes. "The decision that Russian athletes should compete under the Olympic flag as opposed to others is a clear show of discrimination". But they will have to compete under the title of "Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)". "The Olympic Anthem will be played in any ceremony", said a statement on the IOC website. The statement said that Schmidt's report had confirmed "the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russian Federation". The New York Times is reporting that the International Olympic Committee has handed Russian Federation some stiff punishment for their systematic doping. There were no ideal options, but this decision will clearly make it less likely that this ever happens again.

The IOC announced the decision after examining evidence of state-sponsored doping over several years that reached its zenith at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Russian officials have refused to acknowledge the scope and depth of the findings about the country's Olympic teams, saying that the problems were limited to individual athletes. Some Russian officials have threatened to boycott if the International Olympic Committee delivered such a severe punishment. More than two dozen Russian athletes have been disqualified from the Sochi standings as a result, and Olympic officials are still sorting through the tainted results and rescinding medals.

Invitations will be decided by an International Olympic Committee panel chaired by former France Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron.

Meanwhile, Russian coaches and athletes were vehemently condemning the decision and discussing how it could be appealed.

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 panel will include members of the Pre-Games Testing Task Force: one appointed by WADA, one by the DFSU and one by the IOC, Dr Richard Budgett.



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