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Tuesday December 5, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

They have been expelled following widespread doping at Sochi 2014 though clean athletes can compete as individuals under the Olympic flag. UPDATED



The Sochi Games saw the systematic manipulation of the IOC anti-doping system by key members of the Russian Team.

Meeting in Lausanne in Switzerland the executive committee met to consider whether Russia should be allowed to compete at Pyeongchang next February.

See here for our preview article on the meeting with some background to the story.

On Tuesday night the decision was released.

"This was an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport, " said IOC President, Thomas Bach.

"After following due process, the IOC has issued proportional sanctions for this systemic manipulation while protecting the clean athletes.

"This should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system led by WADA."

He continued: "As an athlete myself, I feel very sorry for all the clean athletes from all NOCs who are suffering from this manipulation.

Working with the IOC Athletes' Commission, we will now look for opportunities to make up for the moments they have missed on the finish line or on the podium."

The IOC says it will invite individual Russian athletes under strict conditions to the Games.

They will compete in individual or team competitions under the name "Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)".

They will wear uniforms with the same name and, if any of them wins gold, the Olympic Anthem will be played at the medal ceremony.

There has been swift reaction.

"The Olympics is the showcase for international sports and the IOC decision sends a clear message that cheating and corruption of any kind will not be tolerated. It is a clear step in maintaining the integrity of sport and protecting the interests of clean athletes, " said a statement from the International Ski Federation, FIS.

"FIS is working together with the IOC and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that all the athletes and officials from Russia attending the Games will be a part of a new generation of ambassadors who can start to re-establish the integrity of the nation and rebuild the trust of the international sports community."

On 30th November and 1st December 2017, FIS imposed provisional suspensions with immediate effect on eight Russian cross country athletes: Alexander Legkov, Evgeniy Belov, Julia Ivanova, Evgenia Shapovalova, Alexey Petukhov, Maxim Vylegzhanin, Yulia Chekaleva and Anastasia Dotsenko.

After discussing and approving the Schmid Report, the IOC EB took the following decision:

•    To suspend the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) with immediate effect

•    To invite individual Russian athletes under strict conditions (see below) to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. These invited athletes will participate, be it in individual or team competitions, under the name "Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)". They will compete with a uniform bearing this name and under the Olympic Flag. The Olympic Anthem will be played in any ceremony.

•    Not to accredit any official from the Russian Ministry of Sport for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

•    To exclude the then Minister of Sport, Mr Vitaly Mutko, and his then Deputy Minister, Mr. Yuri Nagornykh, from any participation in all future Olympic Games.

•    To withdraw Mr Dmitry Chernyshenko, the former CEO of the Organising Committee Sochi 2014, from the Coordination Commission Beijing 2022.

•    To suspend ROC President Alexander Zhukov as an IOC Member, given that his membership is linked to his position as ROC President.

•    The IOC reserves the right to take measures against and sanction other individuals implicated in the system.

•    The ROC to reimburse the costs incurred by the IOC on the investigations and to contribute to the establishment of the Independent Testing Authority (ITA) for the total sum of USD 15 million, to build the capacity and integrity of the global anti-doping system.

•    The IOC may partially or fully lift the suspension of the ROC from the commencement of the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 provided these decisions are fully respected and implemented by the ROC and by the invited athletes and officials.

Here at PlanetSKI we will be updating this article shortly with reaction and analysis.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

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