MX23RW : Sunday, January 20 07:39:14

Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang

The International Olympic Committee announces that Russia have been banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang over allegations of state-sponsored doping.

Russia have been banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang over allegations of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Games in Sochi, the International Olympic Committee has confirmed.

IOC president Thomas Bach and his board announced the decision after reading through the findings and recommendations of a 17-month investigation headed up by Samuel Schmid, the former president of Switzerland.

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has been suspended but the IOC revealed that it will invite Russian athletes who can prove that they are clean to compete in February under the name 'Olympic Athlete from Russia' (OAR).

The IOC also handed a lifetime ban to the country's deputy prime minister, Vitaly Mutko, preventing him from having any involvement in the Olympic Games, and has ordered the Russian government to pay $15m (£11.1m) towards a new Independent Testing Authority and reimburse the cost of their investigations.

Speaking in Lausanne on Tuesday, Bach told reporters: "This was an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport.

"The IOC, after following due process, has issued proportional sanctions for this systemic manipulation while protecting the clean athletes. This should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system led by WADA.

"As an athlete myself, I feel very sorry for all the clean athletes from all NOCs who are suffering from this manipulation. Working with the IOC Athletes' Commission, we will now look for opportunities to make up for the moments they have missed on the finish line or on the podium."

The Games in South Korea start on February 9.


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