International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach announces Russia has been banned from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach announces Russia has been banned from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT

Russia gets booted from the Olympics

RUSSIA has been banned from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea in a historic decision by the International Olympic Committee - although some Russian athletes will be allowed to compete under a neutral flag.

The IOC also handed a lifetime ban to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, preventing him having any involvement in the Olympics, and ordered the Russian government to pay $A19.7million towards a new Independent Testing Authority and reimburse the cost of the investigations.

Russia's sophisticated doping system "was an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport”, IOC head Thomas Bach said in Lausanne, Switzerland.

President Vladimir Putin is expected to respond with the possibility Russia will boycott the Games. He has previously said it would be a "humiliating compromise” for Russians to compete as neutral athletes.

Mr Bach added: "The IOC, after following due process, has issued proportionate sanctions for this systemic manipulation while protecting the clean athletes. This should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system led by WADA.”

"As an athlete myself, I feel very sorry for all the clean athletes from all NOCs who are suffering from this manipulation.” Working with the IOC Athletes' Commission, we will now look for opportunities to make up for the moments they have missed on the finish line or on the podium.”

Russia was barred from London's Athletics World Championships this year in the wake of the McLaren report, which revealed details of a state-sponsored doping program that had been in place for years.

The follow-up Schmid report confirmed "systemic manipulation of the anti- doping rules and system in Russia” citing a lack of effort to address the issue and forcing the IOC to take action.

In his findings, the IOC commission chairman Samuel Schmid found doping was fully endorsed by the Russian sports ministry that Mr Mutko headed until 14 months ago.

Pressure will grow on Fifa to take action over Mutko, who heads up Russia's 2018 World Cup team as president of the football union.

However, like the McLaren report, the Schmid report did not directly implicate the Kremlin itself, noting there was no evidence confirming "knowledge of this system by the highest state authority”.

Russian state media announced it would not broadcast the Winter Olympics in the absence of the Russian national team.

The IOC's ban for subverting anti-doping rules is unprecedented.

Nations that started the two World Wars were not invited to the next Games and South Africa's invitation to the 1964 Olympics was revoked after its Olympic committee failed to denounce apartheid.



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