Russia banned from 2018 Winter Games, says IOC

Tuesday December 5 2017

International Olympic Committee

International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Gian-Franco Kasper from Switzerland, attends the opening of the first day of the executive board meeting of the IOC in Pully near Lausanne, on December 5, 2017. The IOC has banned Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympics for doping violations. PHOTO | LAURENT GILLIERON | AFP 

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Russia were banned from the 2018 Olympics on Tuesday over state-sponsored doping but the International Olympic Committee said Russian competitors would be able to compete "under strict conditions".

The IOC announced the decision after examining evidence of state-sponsored doping over several years that reached a high-point at the Winter Olympics hosted in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.

Nations have in the past been barred from taking part in the Olympics, notably South Africa during the apartheid years, but none has ever been handed a blanket ban over doping.

Russian athletes, however, would be able to take part in the Games, the IOC said, as independent competitors "under the Olympic flag".


Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko was also on Tuesday given a lifetime Olympic ban over his involvement in Russian doping, the IOC announced.

Mutko, who was banned from the Rio 2016 Games, was implicated in the World Anti-Doping Agency-commissioned McLaren report as the then Russian Sports Minister.

In a statement, the IOC announced the decision "to exclude the then Minister of Sport, Mr Vitaly Mutko, and his then Deputy Minister, Mr. Yuri Nagornykh, from any participation in all future Olympic Games".

Mutko also heads Russia's 2018 World Cup organising committee.