The International Olympic Committee has banned Russian Federation from competing due to a recently-discovered case of performance-enhancing drugs. They would have to pass drug tests to prove they were clean and also did not benefit from the Sochi scheme. Instead of marching out behind of the Russian flag during the opening ceremonies, they will march behind the Olympic flag. However, the committee said it will allow some of Russia's athletes to compete if they satisfy strict conditions that show they are clean.
The IOC handed out the unprecedented suspension after completing investigations about Russia's alleged doping violations, the Times reported.
The ban does offer a pathway for individual, clean Russian athletes to still participate in the upcoming Games in Pyeongchang, which start February 9.
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Alexander Zhukov, the Russian Olympic Committee president who also was suspended from his IOC membership, told TV reporters in Lausanne that one key was preserving the name "Russia" in the team name.
"We intend to defend the interests of our athletes, of the Russian Federation, to remain committed to the ideals of Olympism and preserve all ties with the International Olympic Committee, and through these ties the problems that have arisen will be resolved", Peskov told reporters on a conference call.
The punishment also prevents Russian officials from participating in official Olympic events, including Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko and Deputy Minister of Sport Yuri Nagornykh, who are permanently banned from all future events.
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Tuesday's decision may have major consequences for another major sports event, next year's $11 billion soccer World Cup in Russian Federation. The blanket ban follows a probe into allegations of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Sochi Games. His spokesman, Dmitry S. Peskov, has said no boycott was under discussion before the announcement, however, and the news broke late in the evening in Moscow when an immediate official reaction was unlikely.
The IOC made the ruling after a yearlong investigation into systematic doping by Russian athletes.
Invitations will be decided by an International Olympic Committee panel chaired by former France Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron.
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In a press release the IOC added that the Russian Olympic Committee must "reimburse the costs incurred by the IOC on the investigations and to contribute to the establishment of the Independent Testing Authority (ITA) for the total sum of United States dollars 15 million, to build the capacity and integrity of the global anti-doping system".