Russian Olympic Team Banned From 2018 Games

IOC suspends Russian NOC and creates a path for clean individual athletes to compete in PyeongChang 2018 under the Olympic Flag

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Tuesday that it has suspended Russia's Olympic team from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics over allegations of doping.

The decision stems from an ongoing investigation into state-sponsored Russian doping during the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

Thomas Bach, the president of the IOC, has said he was perturbed not only by Russia's widespread cheating but by how it had been accomplished: by corrupting the Olympic laboratory that handled drug testing at the games, and on orders from Russia's own Olympic officials.

In allowing clean athletes to compete, the International Olympic Committee said Tuesday they would do so under the name "Olympic Athlete from Russia" (OAR). The Olympic anthem will be played in any ceremony where a Russian athlete wins a gold medal.

But athletes' blood and urine samples have been subjected to more analysis since the Sochi games, and in recent weeks, the International Olympic Committee has been slicing into Russia's medal count, disqualifying athletes from the Russian biathlon, bobsleigh, and cross-country skiing teams who were found to have broken anti-doping Rules.

The IOC also imposed lifetime Olympic ban on Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, organizer of soccer's 2018 World Cup.

More on this as it develops.

Bach was joined Tuesday by Samuel Schmid, the former president of Switzerland, who led a commission investigating the allegations against Russian Federation.




Two IOC commission leaders - appointed after WADA investigator Richard McLaren upheld Rodchenkov's doping claims in July 2016 - also reported to the Olympic board.

Rodchenkov, who was the subject of the Netflix documentary "Icarus" earlier this year, is living somewhere in the United States under the protection of federal authorities.

President of the Russian Bobsleigh Federation Alexander Zubkov described the decision to ban Russia as "a punch in the stomach". The delegation was led by Zhukov, who was later suspended.

At Rio, around 270 Russians are cleared to compete, with 111 excluded.

"The IOC took a strong and principled decision".

Past year a whistleblower exposed an intricate method used to tamper with drug testing samples at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far the figure stands at 25 athletes, with 11 medals stripped.

The banned Russian athletes have said they will appeal the Oswald judgments at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

On Tuesday, the world of global athletics was upended by some of the biggest news in modern Olympics history.

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