(ATR) Russian athletes will compete at the PyeongChang Olympics, but only under terms set by the IOC.
IOC President Thomas Bach led a meeting Tuesday of the IOC Executive Board in Lausanne that took action against Russia over a doping scandal that began more than two years ago with revelations of a corrupted anti-doping system. Track and field athletes were the first to be outed.
The IOC suspended the Russian Olympic Committee
"with immediate effect". Also, the IOC put forth a set of conditions for Russian athletes to compete at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics as neutral athletes.
In addition, the IOC suspended the membership of Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko and his deputy minister Yuri Nagornykh are banned from all future editions of the Olympics. Sochi 2014 President Dmitry Chernyshenko has been removed from the 2022 IOC Coordination Commission.
In Rio, Russia was allowed to field a team that was one-third the normal size, with the IAAF refusing to allow any Russians to compete. Athletes in other Summer Olympic sports could compete only if certified by their respective international federations.
Last year a whistleblower exposed an intricate method used to tamper with drug testing samples at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. A review of the results from Russian athletes in the past few months has led to the disqualification of more than two dozen Russians from Sochi. The sanctions have knocked Russia down to fourth place in the medals table after finishing first in 2014 with 33 medals. Russia won just 10 medals in the preceding 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Speaking at the press conference announcing the ruling of the IOC Executive was Samuel Schmid, the Swiss politician who led the IOC inquiry into whether anti-doping subterfuge was carried out with the backing of the Russian government.
A delegation from Russia led by Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov was on hand at IOC headquarters to receive the first word of the IOC decision.
More to Come.
Written and reported in Lausanne by Ed Hula.
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