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IOC suspends Russian Federation from the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games

IOC suspends Russian Federation from the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games

The change will ban the Russian committee (ROC) from competing as a team.

The suspension follows a report of findings by the International Olympic Committee, led by the former President of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid, that address the systematic manipulation of the anti-doping system in Russian Federation. You can watch it live on YouTube.

"As an athlete myself, I feel very sorry for all the clean athletes from all NOCs who are suffering from this manipulation". According to The New York Times, Russian officials had threatened a boycott if they were barred from the Olympics.

Reacting to the move Tuesday, Scott Blackmun, CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, said, 'The IOC took a strong and principled decision. The two also made a statement applauding the IOC's decision. "Now it is time to look ahead to PyeongChang".

The decision was announced after top International Olympic Committee officials had met privately with Alexander Zhukov, the president of Russia's Olympic Committee; Vitaly Smirnov, Russia's former sports minister who was a year ago appointed by Putin to lead a national anti-doping commission to redeem Russia's standing in global sports; and Evgenia Medvedeva, a two-time world skating champion. The investigation was led by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren.

In suspending Russia's team, Olympic officials left the door open for some n athletes to compete.

Invitations will be decided by an International Olympic Committee panel chaired by former France Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron.

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The IOC Executive Board today studied and discussed the findings of the Commission led by the former President of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid, addressing the systematic manipulation of the anti-doping system in Russian Federation.

The IOC, at its absolute discretion, will ultimately determine the support staff and officials to be invited from the list. "There were no flawless options, but this decision will clearly make it less likely that this ever happens again", it said.

The Russian doping scandal began in Sochi.

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

That commission, chaired by International Olympic Committee member Denis Oswald, was tasked with handling individual cases. Instead of marching out behind of the Russian flag during the opening ceremonies, they will march behind the Olympic flag.

The commission confirmed that the Russian authorities developed a system that allowed a Moscow laboratory to routinely change positive test results to negative, as well as to tamper with samples during the Sochi Games in 2014. The sanctions have knocked Russian Federation down to fourth place in the medals table after finishing first in 2014 with 33 medals.

As it stands, the Games in South Korea, which start on 9 February, will now be without one of the powerhouses of Olympic sport.


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