Sport

Korea encourages Russians to compete in PyeongChang as neutrals

Korea encourages Russians to compete in PyeongChang as neutrals

At medal ceremonies, the Olympic anthem will be played for the neutral athletes instead of the Russian national anthem. "Some say, 'Yes, we've worked so hard".

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied it carried out a doping operation.

IOC President Thomas Bach said later Wednesday that allowing the country name to remain "was not a compromise, it was just reflecting reality" that it would be Russian athletes taking part.

Russia was banned from the 2018 Winter Games by the International Olympic Committee over its state- orchestrated doping programme, but clean Russian athletes will be allowed to compete under an Olympic flag.

The ministry added that it "expects the PyeongChang Winter Olympics to be a good opportunity to further strengthen the traditional friendly relationship between Korea and Russia, and to meet many Russian athletes".

As it announced Russia's punishment, the International Olympic Committee also released the latest report by the disciplinary commission chaired by Samuel Schmid, a former president of Switzerland. But, Walden said Rodchenkov remains fearful for his friends and family who are still in Russian Federation.

The Kremlin leader said a final decision on Russia's stance regarding the IOC ban would be made at a meeting of Russian Olympic authorities in the coming days.




However, in a bid to protect "innocent athletes", the door has been left open for Russians to compete as an "Olympic Athlete of Russia", as long as they satisfy strict conditions that show they have a doping-free background. Only athletes with no doping record will be permitted to compete.

"Throughout history, there were so many things we had to endure from our 'partners, ' " Zakharova said.

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

The IOC also chose 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. "Each of them has to make a decision of some kind now". "There are positive and negative sides", he said.

The decision by the IOC's executive board follows last year's McLaren report from the World Anti-Doping Agency, which confirmed that Russia's Olympics program had engaged in an "institutional conspiracy" to beat the system that included using a "mouse hole" through which to swap out athletes' drug-tainted samples for clean ones.

The ministry issued Zakharova's words along with a slogan that spread on social media Tuesday: "No Russia No Games". Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will not boycott or block those athletes from competing.

It is now likely that a number of Russian champion athletes will compete. Unbeaten in two years, Medvedeva is the clear favorite for women's skating gold and in a sport where careers are short, "I don't know if I'll have another Games in my life after Pyeongchang", she told the board.


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