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Alaskan athletes react as Olympic committee bans Russian Federation

08 December 2017

At the same time, the IOC intends to respect the rights of clean athletes, allowing them to participate in the upcoming games as "Olympic Athletes of Russian Federation".

Individual Russian athletes may still be able to compete in South Korea, subject to meeting strict anti-doping guidelines, and would be referred to as "Olympic Athlete (s) from Russia" at the Games.

In addition to the 2018 ban for Russia's representation as a country, the IOC fined the Russian Olympic Committee $15 million and suspended its president, Alexander Zhukov, as an IOC member.

The IOC punishment did leave room for many Russians to compete under the name "Olympic Athlete from Russia" or OAR.

Mutko said that the IOC's ruling was unfair to Russian Federation and its athletes, but welcomed the decision to allow athletes to participate.

Earlier, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the situation was "serious" and required "deep analysis" but he called for Russians to avoid an "emotional" response. But he called the International Olympic Committee ban "discriminatory".

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When commenting WADA's accusation of an alleged state system to supply drugs to athletes, Medvedev made it clear that his country will not give credit in any way to a clear lie based on arguments that the global institution can not prove.

Some top sports figures agreed, with ice hockey forward Ilya Kovalchuk telling TASS state news agency: "We must go to the Olympics".

The COI verdict is a strong blow to our sports amateurs and fans and a true tragedy for our athletes, many of whom aspire for the last time to win Olympic medals, the head of Government underlined.

"I can say only one thing, if we pay, than we will pay on the grounds of a concluded deal with the IOC", Mutko stated adding that "we must not simply transfer the money from our account as we need the reasoning to do so".

'This is sport, damn it!'

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Nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, condemned the decision as "sporting racism, political racism". According to him, participation at the Olympic games is the right athlete, which should be respected and supported.

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Olympic gold-medallist gymnast Svetlana Khorkina, now a ruling party MP, told Sport Express: "What have we come to?"

Pro-Kremlin media focused on discrediting Grigory Rodchenkov, the whistleblower who gave evidence of a state-controlled doping programme in which he played a central role.

Russian Federation will never recognize the lies spread by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), whose accusations are based on the testimony of a person with psychiatric problems who has been accused of crimes, Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev said today at a government meeting.

"Grigory Rodchenkov is the flawless traitor", wrote tabloid daily Komsomolskaya Pravda.

The IOC also suspended the Russian Olympic Committee until at least the start of the closing ceremony in South Korea.

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Alaskan athletes react as Olympic committee bans Russian Federation