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The International Olympic Committee suspended the Russian Olympic Committee

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday announced an important decision regarding the Pyeongchang Olympics: the Russian Olympic Committee was suspended and a path for individuals Russians was created to compete as neutral athletes. In other words, Russians won’t compete in the Pyeongchang Olympics under their own flag.

They will be designated as “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” and wear a uniform with that designation. They will also compete under the Olympic flag and the Olympic anthem will play at any ceremony. “This decision should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective and more robust anti-doping system led by WADA,” IOC President Thomas Bach said. This decision followed after an analyze  of an official report which confirmed “the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia” during the Sochi Olympics.

PyeongChang-2018-Olympic-Stadium
The PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Stadium

The Russian doping system was appreciated “one of the worst ever blows against the integrity and reputation of the Olympic Games.” It was also stipulated that Russian participants as individuals at the Olympic Games must not have been disqualified or declared ineligible for a previous anti-doping rule violation. The IOC would attempt to organize ceremonies in Pyeongchang for the reallocation of medals from Sochi "to try to make up for the moments they have missed from the finish line or on the podium." Previously, an IOC commission has disqualified 25 Russian athletes from Sochi, resulting in the loss of 11 medals. If Russia will boycott now the IOC decision, it would mark the first time it has missed the Olympics since boycotting in 1984.

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