Kremlin to allow Russians compete at Winter Olympics

WINTER OLYMPICS

Kremlin to allow Russians compete at Winter Olympics

Kremlin to allow Russians compete at Winter Olympics

MICHAEL KLIMENTYEV

EFE

The Russian government will not prevent any of its athletes competing independently at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

On Tuesday, Russia was banned from taking part in the Winter Olympics after findings of the Schmid Report confirmed 'systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules'.

Despite this, Russians who can prove they are clean and that have not been previously sanctioned, will still be allowed to compete as neutral athletes.

Russia won’t boycott Pyeongchang

After launching his re-election campaign, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in televised remarks that Olympian athletes won’t be blocked.

'Without any doubt we will not declare any kind of blockade,' Putin said. 'We will not block our Olympians from taking part, if any of them wish to take part as individuals.

'They have been preparing for these competitions for their whole careers, and for them it's very important.'

The Russian president also denied accusations that his government ran a state-backed doping system.

“Most of the accusations are based on facts that have not been proven and are largely unfounded,” he added.

“Olympic Athletes from Russia”

A press release from the Olympic Commission says that individual Russian athletes will still be allowed to compete under strict conditions.

These Olympians will participate under the name “Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR)”.

A uniform bearing the Olympic Flag will be given to these athletes and the Olympic Anthem will be played in any ceremony.

Russian athletes competing under the Olympic Flag will be evaluated by the Independent Testing Authority (ITA).

It’s still unclear when will ITA issue decisions on who is eligible to participate in the Olympic Games.

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