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IOC allows Russian athletes to compete in 2018 Olympics under neutral flag

Sport 06.12.2017 | 12:03
Photo courtesy of IOC
Photo courtesy of IOC

MINSK, 6 December (BelTA) – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has taken a decision to allow Russian athletes to compete in the 23rd Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang under a neutral flag, IOC President Thomas Bach said after the IOC Executive Board meeting in Lausanne on 5 December, BelTA has learned.

Russian clean athletes will compete in the Winter Games in February 2018 under the name 'Olympic Athlete from Russia' (OAR).

A special commission will identify Russian clean athletes that will be able to take part in the Games. The commission will be led by head of the new Independent Anti-Doping Testing Agency (ITA) Valerie Fourneyron. The members of the commission will be appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Doping Free Sport Unit (DFSU), and the IOC.

Athletes will be able to compete in the Games if they have qualified according to the qualification standards of their respective sport, have not been disqualified or declared ineligible for any violation of anti-doping rules, and have undergone all the pre-Games targeted tests recommended by the Pre-Games Testing Task Force.

The IOC has suspended the membership of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), has denied accreditation to representatives of the Russian Sports Ministry in Pyeongchang. It has also decided to ban Russia's Deputy Prime Minister and former Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko and former Deputy Sports Minister Yuri Nagornykh from all future Olympic Games. ROC President Alexander Zhukov has been suspended as an IOC member.

The Olympic fate of Russian athletes was decided by 15 IOC members. The meeting considered the reports of the IOC commission led by Denis Oswald that was in charge of rechecking the Sochi doping tests and also by the IOC commission led by Samuel Schmid. The IOC representatives looked into the Russian government involvement in doping violations.

The Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang are scheduled for 9-26 February 2018.

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