Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Russia Winter Olympic ban is controversial, says Russian sports minister

Russia Winter Olympic ban is controversial, says Russian sports minister

Still, Haley said she believes President Donald Trump's administration will work to "find out the best way" to make sure the athletes are protected.

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 IOC has stripped 11 medals from Russia's tally in Sochi so far over the doping.

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

Though Russian Olympians will not be allowed to compete under their flag, Putin said that he will not prevent athletes from competing in a "personal capacity" in the upcoming Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. "This is an important conclusion", Putin said.

"I can not accept the option that I would compete in the Olympic Games without the Russian flag as a neutral athlete", Medvedeva said in a statement issued by Russia's Olympic Committee (and translated into English by Google Translate).

An IOC commission chaired by former Swiss president Samuel Schmid ruled Tuesday that there was a doping system but said it found no evidence that "the highest state authority" knew. Russian short-track speed skater Viktor Ahn said on Wednesday, he would be competing as a neutral in the PyeongChang Games in what could be his final appearance at the Olympics.

They could "represent a new generation of clean Russian athletes in the games and build a bridge into a clean future of Russian sport for which they can then become ambassadors", the International Olympic Committee president said.

The IOC's decision was met with an eruption of irate denunciations from Russian officials, who attacked it as unfair and as part of a Western plot.

Ivan Melnikov, First Deputy Speaker in Russia's parliament on Tuesday called the ban "unthinkably harsh", the news agency Interfax reported. The IOC, however, plans to invite individual Russians to compete under the Olympic flag. "Each of them has to make a decision of some kind now". "There are positive and negative sides", he said.

He said including the word "Russia" in the team name was a key issue.

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.

United Nations ambassador Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyTrump's withdrawal from migration summit shows his nationalist colors US, South Sudan must stand together for peace Dems plan ambitious campaign for red-state governorships MORE said Wednesday there's still an "open question" as to whether the USA will send its athletes to South Korea in February for the Winter Olympics, citing escalating tensions with North Korea.

"I have prepared for this for 4 years".

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