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Russia banned from Pyeongchang Winter Olympics

Xinhua/chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-12-06 07:58

Russia banned from Pyeongchang Winter Olympics

Russia's pilot Olga Stulneva and Liudmila Udobkina speed down the track during the women's bobsleigh competition at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Feb 18, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Russia would not be rattled by IOC's decision to ban it from the upcoming winter Olympics and would survive the ordeal.

"We can never be knocked down," Maria Zakharova, a ministry spokeswoman, wrote on social media. "Not by a world war, not by the collapse of the Soviet Union, not by sanctions. We take it and we survive."

The IOC also ruled that no official from the Russian Ministry of Sport will be accredited for the PyeongChang Games.

Despite the ban against the Russian Olympic Committee, the IOC clarified that Russian athletes are still invited to Pyeongchang only under "strict conditions." A detailed invitation list will be determined at the IOC's absolute discretion, by a panel that includes members appointed by WADA, the Doping-Free Sport Unit and the IOC.

The sanctions may be partially or fully lifted from the commencement of the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Games, provided these IOC decisions are fully respected and implemented by the ROC and by the invited athletes and officials, it concluded.

Last year, an independent WADA commission headed by Professor Richard McLaren released a report accusing Russia of state-sponsored doping programs to illegally boost Russian athletes' performances.

The report was largely based on the testimony of the former head of a Moscow anti-doping lab Grigory Rodchenkov, who fled to the United States at the end of 2015, becoming an informant for WADA.

The scandal prevented a large number of Russian athletes and officials from participating in the 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics.

Despite the ban against the Russian Olympic Committee, the IOC clarified that Russian athletes are still invited to Pyeongchang only with "strict conditions." A detailed invitation list will be determined at the IOC's absolute discretion, by a panel that includes members appointed by WADA, the Doping-Free Sport Unit and the IOC.

The sanctions may be partially or fully lifted from the commencement of the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Games, provided these IOC decisions are fully respected and implemented by the ROC and by the invited athletes and officials, it concluded.

Last year, an independent WADA commission headed by Professor Richard McLaren released a report accusing Russia of state-sponsored doping programs to illegally boost Russian athletes' performances.

The report was largely based on the testimony of the former head of a Moscow anti-doping lab Grigory Rodchenkov, who fled to the United States at the end of 2015, becoming an informant for WADA.

The scandal prevented a large number of Russian athletes and officials from participating in the 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics.

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