Russia Banned in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics
By Mei Manuel, December 06, 2017 04:12 AM
On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee announced that Russia will not be permitted to take part in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics after acquiring evidence showed the "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of the anti-doping system to get some of their athletes pass the test.
Some Russian athletes would be permitted to compete under the title "Olympic Athlete of Russia" if they pass strict conditions and show they have a doping-free background.
The IOC had also suspended Russian Olympic Committee president Alexander Zhukov as a member given that his membership is linked to his position as the ROC head now that they are banned in the Winter Olympics next year. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko was also banned from participating at any Olympic Games.
In a news conference in Lausanne on Tuesday, the investigation made by Samuel Schmid and his team confirmed the "systematic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia." Schmid also told reporters: "The results are not based only on (Russia's former anti-doping chief) Grigoory Rodchenkov's testimony. There is scientific evidence, witness statements documents and conrrespondence.
He further adds, "The facts are that in Russia, there was systemic manipulation of doping and the anti-doping system... that also took place at Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics."
IOC President Thomas Bach said in his statement, "As a former athlete, I am feeling very sorry for all the clean athletes who are suffering from this manipulation."
"We had a Russian delegation today and gave them again the opportunity to express themselves. In this meeting this afternoon, the president of ROC has apologized."
Several Russian sports groups are against the decision and stressed it may affect the integrity of the Olympics itself. In his statement with R-Sports, the president of the Russian Skating Union Alexei Kravtsov said "The IOC decision is offensive and insulting. It is completely unjustified. I consider that this decision will deal a great blow to the whole Olympic movement."
The decision of the IOC comes 18 months after they refused to ban Russian athletes at the 2016 Rio Olympics and permitted international sports federations to decide on which Russians they wish to take part in the Olympics. From the original 387 athletes that were listed for the Rio Olympics, only 70 were permitted to take part for Russia.
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