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IOC: Russians can compete at Olympics, but without flag

06 December 2017

However, they will allow athletes to compete in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang after approval by an IOC panel.

The IOC executive board made a decision to suspend the ROC with immediate effect. According to The New York Times, Russian officials had threatened a boycott if they were barred from the Olympics.

Thirty-four Russian athletes tested positive in re-analysis of samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, the commission said. Russian Federation has been in the spotlight since a report by a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) commission in 2015 found evidence of state-sponsored doping in Russian Federation and accused it of systematically violating anti-doping regulations.

No member of the leadership of the Russian Olympic Team at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 can be included on the invitation list.

Rodchenkov's testimony, bolstered by two other Russian whistleblowers, has been supported by a series of investigations by the World Anti-Doping Agency since late 2015.

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.

The IOC measures will have huge repercussions for football's world governing body FIFA and next year's World Cup in Russia, as Mutko is the president of the Russian Football Union and chairman of the Russia 2018 organising committee.

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The US Olympic Committee praised the IOC's announcement.

The Kremlin did not immediately comment on the decision, but on Monday spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was not considering a boycott, though President Vladimir Putin would make the final decision.

In the space of one month the International Olympic Committee dishes out similar sanctions to 25 Russians from Sochi Games.

"This should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system led by WADA", he added, referring to the World Anti-Doping Agency.

German broadcaster ARD airs documentary alleging systematic doping in Russian athletics. It wants the scientist extradited from the United States, where he is a protected witness. "There were no ideal options, but this decision will clearly make it less likely that this ever happens again".

Russian lawmakers and other officials quickly rejected the International Olympic Committee decision, saying it was influenced by politics. By Monday, 25 Russians had been disqualified from the Sochi Games and banned from the Olympics for life, and 11 medals were stripped.

IOC: Russians can compete at Olympics, but without flag