Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics over doping

Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics over doping

Athletes who lost medals because of Russia's doping program at the Sochi Olympics gave a broad thumbs-up to the International Olympic Committee's decision Tuesday to let Russian athletes compete at the upcoming Pyeongchang Games - but not under their own flag.

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". These invited athletes will participate, be it in individual or team competitions, under the name "Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)".

The findings led the committee to strip Russia of some of its medals from the 2014 Sochi Olympics and limit some Russian athletes at the 2016 Rio Olympics - a punishment that was criticized as not severe enough.

WADA's report calls on Russia's track and field team to be banned from worldwide competition, including from the 2016 Rio Olympics, until "state-sponsored" doping is eradicated.

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

It said this confirmed the "unprecedented nature of the cheating scheme and, as a effect, the exceptional damage to the integrity of the IOC, the Olympic Games and the entire Olympic Movement".

It was Rodchenkov who first revealed the scale of Russia's cheating and it was his testimony which formed the basis of the second of those WADA investigations, conducted by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren.

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

The president of the Russian skating union has described the decision of offensive and insulting.

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

The Russian authorities have vehemently denied any state involvement in doping and pledged to work with worldwide sports bodies to curb the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs in the country. Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously said it would be humiliating to compete without national symbols.

The IOC instead asked sports governing bodies to decide which athletes could compete. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) sets up an independent commission headed by its former chief, Dick Pound, to investigate the claims.

German broadcaster ARD airs documentary alleging systematic doping in Russian athletics.

The IOC also heard from a large Russian delegation, led by the former KGB agent Vitaly Smirnov - a long-time IOC member and a major sports administrator dating back to the Soviet era - as well as the brilliant 18-year-old skater Evgenia Medvedeva, the double-world champion who has not been beaten for two years.

Russian Federation no longer leads the Sochi medals table.

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