Russia Banned From Olympics for Doping Athletes

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach speaks during a press conference closing an IOC executive meeting

The IOC Executive Board ruled yesterday that Russian athletes can not compete under their own flag and with their own anthem at next year's Winter Olympics after a proven "systemic manipulation" of the anti-doping system at events including Sochi 2014.

Though Russian Olympians will not be allowed to compete under their flag, Putin said that he will not prevent athletes from competing in a "personal capacity" in the upcoming Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Although Russian athletes will be allowed to compete in Pyeongchang under the Olympic flag, and under strict conditions, the move to exclude a country over doping by the IOC on Tuesday was unprecedented.

The move, punishing Russian Federation for its state-orchestrated doping programme, will allow clean athletes to compete under an Olympic flag - but few are likely to accept, according to drinkers at Dark Patrick's pub, a sports bar in central Moscow.

"Most of the accusations are based on facts that have not been proven and are largely unfounded", he added.

Speaking to reporters after a speech to automobile plant workers in Nizhny Novgorod where he announced he would run for a fourth presidential term next year, Putin said the International Olympic Committee decision was politically motivated.

The ban is Russia's punishment for a massive state-sponsored doping scheme.

It's not yet clear if Russian athletes plan to challenge those requirements in court. The IOC has stripped 11 medals from Russia's tally in Sochi so far over the doping.

A uniform bearing the Olympic Flag will be given to these athletes and the Olympic Anthem will be played in any ceremony.

Former Canadian cross-country skier Beckie Scott has been an anti-doping advocate since her bronze medal in 2002 was upgraded to silver and then gold because athletes were disqualified for doping.


Back in 1992, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, players from ex-Soviet countries teamed up, including future Stanley Cup winners Alexei Kovalev and Sergei Zubov.

The IOC's decision was met with an eruption of irate denunciations from Russian officials, who attacked it as unfair and as part of a Western plot.

In the same bar in the capital, Aliona Formichova, a 30-year-old who works in a construction company, said the International Olympic Committee had made a "bad" decision.

"They are always trying to put us down in everything - our way of life, our culture, our history and now our sport", Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, wrote in a Facebook post.

The IOC also made a decision to suspend Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) president Alexander Zhukov as an IOC member, while Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, sports minister at the time of the Sochi Games, was also banned from any future participation at the Olympics. Zhukov said that it was positive that Russian athletes could still participate in Pyeongchang.

As you complete events, you will also frequently find yourself pitted against Russian athletes.

It is now likely that a number of Russian champion athletes will compete.

Ahn, along with other Russian athletes have many suspicions to overcome, with the World Anti-Doping Agency ruling last month, that Russia had failed to meet worldwide drug-testing standard for the third year in a row.

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