IOC leaves weightlifting at risk of 2024 Olympic snub

Putin says Russia won't prevent athletes from competing in Pyeongchang - agencies

On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee ruled that the Russian Olympic Committee would be suspended from competition, meaning Russia will not be represented at the upcoming 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Russian athletes who pass stringent drug tests and receive special clearance to compete will do so wearing a neutral uniform and under a neutral flag.

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

Women's skater Olga Fatkulina is ruled out after the International Olympic Committee stripped her of her silver medal in the 500 meters from the Sochi Olympics earlier this month and banned her for life from the Games.

The ban was imposed on Tuesday; one day later, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he wouldn't stand in any athlete's way if they choose to compete as neutral Olympians. "Individual will be able to participate under strict conditions at the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018".

"It's just truly disheartening to know that a government and their officials would go to the extreme of putting this much pressure on their athletes to perform, and to get results, and to get medals at the Olympics", she said. Putin himself had suggested it would be "humiliation" for Russian athletes to compete without their national symbols.

"I think that this excuse was not used in an honest way, to put it mildly", Putin said without elaborating.

"I can not accept the option that I would compete in the Olympic Games without the Russian flag as a neutral athlete", Medvedeva said in a statement issued by Russia's Olympic Committee (and translated into English by Google Translate).

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"What matters is that the commission wrote in its conclusions that there was no system of state support of doping in Russian Federation".

In announcing the decision, IOC president Thomas Bach accused Russian Federation of "perpetrating an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport".

Ahead of the IOC's decision, NPR's Lucian Kim visited Moscow's famous Gorky Park to hear what Russians are making of the claims against their country in some of its most revered sports.

It said the athletes had asked CAS to rule before the start of the February 9-25 Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea. "Will Russia be at the Olympics but without a flag?" But, Walden said Rodchenkov remains fearful for his friends and family who are still in Russian Federation.

Back in 1992, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, players from ex-Soviet countries teamed up, including future Stanley Cup winners Alexei Kovalev and Sergei Zubov.

Schmid's commission said it had confirmed a system described in the investigations conducted by the Canadian lawyer, Richard McLaren for the World Anti-Doping Agency, that found the head of Russia's anti-doping laboratory had secretly switched out dirty samples from Russian athletes during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi with the help of the country's FSB intelligence service.

His words didn't prevent Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova from saying Wednesday that the punishment of Russia's Olympic program was an attempt to isolate and weaken Russia, saying its critics had resorted to "Plan B", after the country hosted the Sochi Olympics.

It is now likely that a number of Russian champion athletes will compete.

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