Russian Athletes to Compete Under Neutral Flag At 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics

Russian athletes to compete in Olympics as 'neutrals:' IOC

Russian athletes to compete in Olympics as 'neutrals:' IOC

The IOC suspended Russian Olympic committee on Tuesday, but will allow athletes from the country to compete as neutrals at Pyeongchang Games.

According to NPR, many athletes from Russian Federation were using or have used performance-enhancing drugs, which has caused the country to be barred from participating in this year's Winter Olympics.

IOC President Thomas Bach is scheduled to announce the 14-member board's decision at 7:30 p.m. (1830 GMT) Tuesday.

The IOC's ruling suspends the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) from the 2018 Winter Olympics, and will not allow any member of the ROC or the Russia Ministry of Sport to be accredited for the games.

The collective action comes as an International Olympic Committee commission has disqualified 25 Russian athletes from Sochi, resulting in the loss of 11 medals.

More on this as it develops.

These revelations led to the publication of an extensive report by the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) in June of 2016, weeks before the Olympics in Rio were scheduled to begin. In the 2014 Winter Games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia led the medal count, with 33 overall and 13 golds. Separately, the Oswald commission, set up by the International Olympic Committee to examine Russian doping in Sochi in 2014, began to ban Russian competitors from those Games retrospectively.

The athletes will be identified as "Olympic Athlete from Russian Federation".

At the time the IOC's reasoning was that it did not have time to look over the report fully, or verify all of WADA's claims.

Released in two phases, the McLaren Report concluded that Russia's scheme involved more than 1,000 Russian athletes - and that it also included plans both for manipulating doping controls and for covering up the system. "The Olympic Anthem will be played in any ceremony". More than two dozen Russian athletes have been disqualified from the Sochi standings as a result, and Olympic officials are still sorting through the tainted results and rescinding medals. But, in light of legal appeals from numerous Russian athletes who have been disqualified by the International Olympic Committee, it is uncertain if all results from Sochi will be finalized in time.

Russia's Olympic team has been barred from the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Bach and his board have come to their decision after reading through the findings and recommendations of a 17-month investigation headed up by the former president of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid.

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