Russians Can Compete in 2018 Winter Olympics Without Flag, Anthem

Russians Can Compete in 2018 Winter Olympics Without Flag, Anthem

Russians Can Compete in 2018 Winter Olympics Without Flag, Anthem

The ban was imposed on Tuesday; one day later, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he wouldn't stand in any athlete's way if they choose to compete as neutral Olympians.

She said the IOC choice of "Olympic Athletes from Russia" as the official designation, instead of a more neutral tag, decided the issue for her.

But the International Olympic Committee also said it would allow some individual Russian athletes to take part as neutrals, provided they were able to pass a specially created International Olympic Committee anti-doping panel.

His words didn't prevent Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova from saying Wednesday that the punishment of Russia's Olympic program was an attempt to isolate and weaken Russia, saying its critics had resorted to "Plan B", after the country hosted the Sochi Olympics.

Former Switzerland President Samuel Schmid told a news conference that his report confirmed "the systematic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russian Federation".

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. "This is an important conclusion", Putin said.

The 22 Russians are set to miss February's Games whatever happens, because doping violations carry bans of two to four years for first-time offenders. 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.

Image: The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) is pictured in Lausanne, Switzerland, November 15, 2017.

"The system is being punished ... the conspiracy is being addressed and sanctioned and if there are clean athletes who can prove they're clean, they still have a chance to compete".

"It is not lost on many clean athletes that Russian athletes who were part of this system may have had no choice but to comply".

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

However, Pyotr Tolstoy, deputy speaker of the State Duma, the Russian parliament's lower house, has called for a boycott.

"They will compete with a uniform bearing this name and under the Olympic Flag", the IOC said. There were no flawless options, but this decision will clearly make it less likely that this ever happens again. "There are positive and negative sides", he said.

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.

"It's easy in Canada to point fingers and say "the athletes should know better" but travel to Russian Federation and see the living conditions these kids are growing up in", Kershaw explained.

It is now likely that a number of Russian champion athletes will compete.

"I have prepared for this for 4 years".

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