The national team of Russian Federation was suspended from the Olympic games

Saul Bowman
December 6, 2017

Alexander Zhukov, head of the Russian Olympic committee, said the IOC's decision to ban his country would unfairly affect a new generation of athletes who are not guilty of doping.

The US Olympic Committee praised the IOC's announcement.

Russian athletes will be allowed to stand on the medal podium at the Winter Olympics - just not with their anthem playing or their nation's flag rising above them.

The IOC's decision to choose a more moderate path, instead of a blanket ban, does offer some Russian athletes a path to competing in the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea - although that will be by invitation only and dependent on a stringent testing programme. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said it would be humiliating for Russia to compete without national symbols. The Russian flag will not fly and its anthem will not play during the opening, closing and medal ceremonies. The statement said that Schmidt's report had confirmed "the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russian Federation".

Schmid's report included a 50-page sworn affidavit from Rodchenkov, who was also a key witness for McLaren and an International Olympic Committee disciplinary commission.

The conclusions of the Schmid Report, on both factual and legal aspects, confirmed "the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russian Federation, through the Disappearing Positive Methodology and during the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, as well as the various levels of administrative, legal and contractual responsibility, resulting from the failure to respect the respective obligations of the various entities involved".

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

The IOC, at its absolute discretion, will ultimately determine the support staff and officials to be invited from the list.

"Everyone is talking about how to punish Russia, but no one is talking about how to help Russia", Smirnov said, sipping a hot beverage in the lobby of the Lausanne Palace Hotel before delivering his final appeal to officials that afternoon.

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

Bach was joined Tuesday by Samuel Schmid, the former president of Switzerland, who led a commission investigating the allegations against Russian Federation.

Meanwhile the credibility of the Russian whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, who ran the Moscow anti-doping laboratory before fleeing a year ago and revealing what he knew to McLaren, was recently enhanced by the Oswald commission, who confirmed that he was a "truthful witness".

That commission, chaired by International Olympic Committee member Denis Oswald, was tasked with handling individual cases. They've taken away 11 of Russia's 33 medals.

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