IOC: Russians can compete at Olympics, but without flag

IOC: Russians can compete at Olympics, but without flag

IOC: Russians can compete at Olympics, but without flag

The IOC's executive committee announced in a statement that it was barring Russia's national Olympic committee from the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

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.

According to the IOC, Russian athletes will instead compete as "Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)", under the Olympic flag.

In Rio, Russia was allowed to field a team that was one-third the normal size, with the IAAF refusing to allow any Russians to compete. The Olympic anthem will be played in place of the Russian anthem at medal ceremonies.

The suspension followed the Schmid Report, which confirmed "the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia".

We applaud today's decision by the International Olympic Committee.

"I very much regret that the International Olympic Committee made such a odd decision", Mikhail Fedotov, chairman of the Presidential Council on Human Rights, told Interfax on Tuesday. The committee came to the same conclusion as the World Anti-Doping Agency did in July 2016 - that the Russian government operated a doping program during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

The commission said it was able to confirm allegations that some individuals received payments to hide positive doping tests, having previously encouraged athletes to purchase doping substances.

Russian lawmakers and other officials quickly rejected the International Olympic Committee decision, saying it was influenced by politics.

Following the ruling, Russia's former Minister of Sport, Vitaly Mutko, and his then deputy minister, Yuri Nagornykh, have been banned from participating in all future Olympic Games despite their strong denial of the doping allegations.

President Vladimir V. Putin seemed to be predicting a boycott of the Pyeongchang Games, since his foreign policy in recent years has been based on the premise that he has rescued Russian Federation from the humiliation inflicted on it by the West after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

IOC President Thomas Bach and other members of the Olympic governing body pronounced Russia's fate at a news conference that was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET. Rodchenkov appeared in filmmakers Bryan Fogel and Dan Cogan's critically acclaimed documentary, Icarus, an expose on the Russian state-sponsored doping system. Speaking to the news agency Interfax however, Melnikov suggested the Kremlin may decide otherwise, in which case he would support its decision.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously said it would be humiliating for his country to compete without national symbols.

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