IOC suspends Russian Olympic committee

IOC suspends Russian Olympic committee

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. Athletes in other Summer Olympic sports could compete only if certified by their respective worldwide federations. The statement said that Schmidt's report had confirmed "the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russian Federation". In the last month, the IOC's own commission has banned more than 20 Russian athletes from the Olympics for life over doping violations at the 2014 Winter Games that Russia hosted in Sochi.

The answer, in simple terms, is that it's a strident punishment in response to investigations into the Russian Olympic program's use of performance-enhancing drugs over the past several years.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach announced the decision to ban Russian Federation on Tuesday evening.

Mutko, who was also banned from the Rio 2016 Summer Games, had been implicated in the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency)-commissioned McLaren report.

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.

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A woman holds a Russian flag in front of the Olympic Rings logo during the Executive Board meeting, at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters, in Pully near Lausanne, Switzerland. This was reported on the website of the International Olympic Committee.

The Russian authorities have vehemently denied any state involvement in doping and pledged to work with global sports bodies to curb the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs in the country. "The IOC [executive board], after following due process, has issued proportional sanctions for this systemic manipulation while protecting the clean athletes", IOC President Thomas Bach said.

The IOC's decision to choose a more moderate path, instead of a blanket ban, does offer some Russian athletes a path to competing in the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea - although that will be by invitation only and dependent on a stringent testing programme.

The Pyeongchang Games will begin in 66 days, on February 9th, and run until February 25th. There is scientific evidence, witness statements documents and correspondence. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) sets up an independent commission headed by its former chief, Dick Pound, to investigate the claims.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously said it would be humiliating for Russia to compete without national symbols. We salute whistleblower Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, who risked so much to tell this story, and support all those who are willing to speak truth to power. They've taken away 11 of Russia's 33 medals.

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