Putin Says Russia Won't Prevent Athletes From Competing In Pyeongchang

Ross Houston
December 7, 2017

The IOC on Tuesday banned the Russian team from the Olympics after evidence emerged of an "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of the anti-doping system but left the door open for some Russians to compete as neutrals if they demonstrate they have a doping-free background. "Some say, 'Yes, we've worked so hard".

Another Olympics expert from the University of France-Comte, Eric Monnin, said the International Olympic Committee was "playing for its life and legitimacy" during the sordid state-sponsored doping affair, in which the global body also banned Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko from the Olympics for life.

An explosive report by the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) and two subsequent International Olympic Committee investigations have confirmed that Russian athletes took part in an elaborate drug cheating programme which peaked during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Ahn, along with other Russian athletes have many suspicions to overcome, with the World Anti-Doping Agency ruling last month, that Russia had failed to meet worldwide drug-testing standard for the third year in a row.

"What matters is that the commission wrote in its conclusions that there was no system of state support of doping in Russian Federation".

Jean-Loup Chappelet, an Olympic specialist from the University of Lausanne, said the IOC's decision was "strong because it rested on its credibility regarding the subject of doping and sent the ball into Russia's court".

Any Russian athlete who does compete in Pyeongchang must do so as an "Olympic Athlete from Russia" (OAR), in uniforms which bear that acronym.

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".

Elite figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva, one of Russia's most famous athletes and the reigning world champion, vented the frustrations of many would-be Olympians who say they thought they were doing enough by being "clean".

"They are always trying to put us down in everything - our way of life, our culture, our history and now our sport", Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, wrote in a Facebook post. 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.

"[Russian President] Vladimir Putin himself stood up and said, 'Listen guys, we have had a doping problem in Russian Federation and we're trying to fix it, ' but every time Russian Federation takes a step to do something, the bar gets raised up again", Moore said.

The Olympic anthem will be played in any ceremony for medals won by these athletes, and Russia's official medal count for the games will stand at zero.

Whether or not they compete under their own flag, ski jumping and Nordic combined seem unlikely to result in any medals for Russians.

The ministry issued Zakharova's words along with a slogan that spread on social media Tuesday: "No Russia No Games. I can't just throw it all away", he said, the Russian-language news site Meduza reported.

Other reports by iNewsToday