Russian Federation voices regret at Olympic ban

Russian Federation voices regret at Olympic ban

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.

The long-awaited International Olympic Committee decision punishing Russia for a state-sponsored doping campaign during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, came a little more than two months before the quadrennial skiing, skating and sledding contests unfold at venues in the mountains and along the coast of South Korea.

"Most of the accusations are based on facts that have not been proven and are largely unfounded", Putin said.

The IOC also chose to suspend Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) president Alexander Zhukov as an IOC member, while Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, sports minister at the time of the Sochi Games, was also banned from any future participation at the Olympics.

At the Washington Capitals' morning skate Wednesday, Ovechkin and fellow Russian Evgeny Kuznetsov say they will cheer for the Russian athletes who choose to go to South Korea. The South Korean-born skating legend, is an eight-time gold medalist who obtained Russian citizenship in 2011, after a public falling out with South Korea's skating union.

"I'd like to tell all Russian athletes preparing for the Olympics in Pyeongchang not to get disappointed in any case and definitely not to do anything stupid like a boycott", Isinbayeva told state TV.

Pole vault star Yelena Isinbayeva told TASS: "Addressing our athletes, I want to say that they should absolutely not despair and should continue training for the games".

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"[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 American team now leads the way with the 28 medals it won in 2014, with Norway second - and that is without the redistribution of medals that were taken away from Russian athletes.

The decision by the IOC's executive board follows last year's McLaren report from the World Anti-Doping Agency, which confirmed that Russia's Olympics program had engaged in an "institutional conspiracy" to beat the system that included using a "mouse hole" through which to swap out athletes' drug-tainted samples for clean ones.

Bach called Russia's concerted attempts to break the rules "an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport", citing the manipulation of the anti-doping lab at the Sochi Olympics of 2014.

"What matters is that the commission wrote in its conclusions that there was no system of state support of doping in Russian Federation". "Will Russia be at the Olympics but without a flag?"

He said including the word "Russia" in the team name was a key issue.

The IOC has stripped 11 medals from Russia's tally in Sochi so far over the doping.

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

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