Sports

Russia Won't Boycott Olympics Over Ban For Doping, Putin Says

Russia Won't Boycott Olympics Over Ban For Doping, Putin Says

Key Russian skiers from the 2014 Olympics have already been banned by the International Olympic Committee for doping, with four of Russia's five medals stripped.

Clean Russian athletes would be allowed to compete under an Olympic flag, the IOC said.

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.

"As a former athlete I am feeling very sorry for all the clean athletes who are suffering from this manipulation. but because we are allowing clean athletes to participate they can set about building a bridge for the future (rather) than erecting a new wall between Russian Federation and the Olympic movement". The South Korean-born skating legend, is an eight-time gold medalist who obtained Russian citizenship in 2011, after a public falling out with South Korea's skating union.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin's spokesman, said blaming officials was not a priority and that "protecting the interests of our athletes" was more important.

Executive Board member Nicole Hoevertsz will chair a three-person panel charged with finalising rules and regulations for the participation of Russian athletes at Pyeongchang 2018, it has been announced.

The games will not be broadcast in the country because of the absence of a Russian national team. If they go to Pyeongchang, they'll compete under the Olympic flag; if they win medals, their country's anthem won't be played.

"This was the name but it referred to athletes from Russian and everybody in the media spoke as if it was athletes from Russia".

Russian athletes now face a choice between competing under the neutral flag or not competing at all.

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

Rebekah Vardy brands I'm A Celebrity a 'fix' over Iain Lee scenes
Vardy was accused by viewers of ganging up on Lee , who suffers from anxiety and depression, along with Jamie Lomas and Amir Khan. Becky also said that she and Iain had shared many lovely moments and heart-to-hearts together that hadn't been shown.

"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.

Ivan Melnikov, First Deputy Speaker in Russia's parliament on Tuesday called the ban "unthinkably harsh", the news agency Interfax reported.

The head of Russia's Olympic Committee, Alexander Zhukov, told the IOC that punishing clean athletes was "unjust and immoral". Zhukov said that it was positive that Russian athletes could still participate in Pyeongchang.

The IOC also will bar Russian officials who were team leaders at Sochi, and coaches or medial staff who have been linked to doping athletes.

"An Olympic boycott has never achieved anything", IOC President Thomas Bach said at a news conference.

But Calgary curler Chelsea Carey was less forgiving, saying she's not comfortable with allowing Russians to compete as neutrals because they're not being held to the same standard as her.

It said the IOC's actions proved that "you can destroy a whole Olympic country on the basis of indirect evidence and a single witness who was under a criminal investigation and has been treated in a psychiatric hospital".

"I have prepared for this for 4 years".

At the Kremlin, Peskov said questions remain about how the ban would be enacted.


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