Nikki Haley thinks USA athletes could skip the Olympics

Nikki Haley thinks USA athletes could skip the Olympics

Russia Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says the state will never acknowledge the accusation of state-sponsored doping that prevents the Russia team from competing at the Pyeongchang Olympics because it considers it false.

Asked on Fox News if athletes from the United States would be able to compete, Ms. Haley said: "There's an open question". But Mutko said that the interests of Russia's athletes were his top concern.

Mr. Putin rejected the claims and said the ban was "politically motivated".

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) ruled Tuesday that individual Russian athletes could still participate in the 2018 Games if they prove to a panel that they have been clean.

"This is politics", said Medvedev, in comments broadcast on state TV.

Addressing the strained relations and their impact on the Olympics, Ms. Haley said the Trump administration would try to "find out the best way" to protect American athletes participating in the Games.

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

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It's acceptable for Russian athletes to compete under the IOC's terms, two-time gold medalist pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva said, according to Interfax.

But Haley said it's not a "done deal" that USA athletes will be able to attend the Olympics.

Given that the allegations about Russia's plan to sabotage the anti-doping system at Sochi 2014 have now been corroborated by two International Olympic Committee commissions and a World Anti-Doping Agency-funded investigation, the Russian athletes' chances of overturning their disqualifications look slim, as do their hopes of competing in Pyeongchang.

"So there are still more questions than answers and they all need to clarified".

In another development on Wednesday, 22 Russians disqualified from Sochi 2014 for doping offences and banned from the Olympics filed appeals at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Russia's athletics federation, Paralympic Committee and anti-doping agency RUSADA remain suspended over doping scandals.

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