The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive board yesterday banned Russia from participating in the upcoming 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Russia Olympic team officials have also been forbidden from attending the event and its flag will not be displayed at the opening ceremony.
Furthermore, its anthem will not be played.
This follows an investigation into allegations of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Games hosted by Russia in Sochi.
â€œThe Executive board has studied and discussed the findings of the commission led by the former President of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid, addressing the systematic manipulation of the anti-doping system in Russia. This report also addresses in particular the manipulation at the anti-doping labaratory at the Winter Games in Sochi 2014 which targeted the Olympic games directly,â€� reads the statement from the official Olympics website, in part.
After discussing and approving the Schmid Report, the Executive committee decided to let the Russian athletes who can prove they are clean to be allowed to compete in South Korea under a neutral flag.
IOC President Thomas Bach who was speaking at the press briefing in Lausane said:
“This was an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport. This should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system led by WADA.”
He continued: “As an athlete myself, I feel very sorry for all the clean athletes from all National Olympic Committees who are suffering from this manipulation.â€�
Also, the IOC also handed a lifetime ban to Russia’s deputy prime minister, Vitaly Mutko, preventing him from having any involvement in the Olympic Games , and has ordered the Russian government to pay $15m towards a new Independent Testing Authority and reimburse the cost of their investigations.
Russiaâ€™s olympic committee and other officials including the Countryâ€™s president Vladmir Putin is yet to give out an official statement.