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Putin says Russia hopes to turn page on doping at Olympics

01 February 2018

President Vladimir Putin has apologized to Olympic athletes over Russia's inability to protect them from the situation around the Games.

On Dec. 22, 2017, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned 11 Russian athletes for life after they committed doping offences at the 2014 Sochi winter games. "But you and all sports fans should not have any doubts that Russian Federation will always perform, and has performed, and will support the ideas of clean sports in all senses, in all respects", Putin said.

Putin "reminded the cabinet of the decision to organise a competition for those of our athletes who had not been allowed to take part in the Olympic Games", Russian news agencies quoted Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.

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Around 3,000 athletes are set to participate in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games, making it the largest Winter Olympics in history, the organising committee said on Monday at the close of nominations.

North Korea has a history of last-minute cancellations and unexplained reversals, and some experts say it might have sought to gain concessions from the South.

On 5 December, the global Olympic Committee (IOC) has suspended the national team of Russian Federation from participation in the Olympics.

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Reuters isn't the only group to be banned from the winter Olympics this year, as it was previously reported that the entirety of Russia's team has been banned from competing.

He reserved scathing remarks for Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory who described running a doping program and cover-ups over several years on orders from Russian government officials. "For a host country to display cultural power and successfully launch cultural Olympic events in the run up to the Winter Games, public interest is crucial", said Kim Tae-wook, general art director for the Cultural Olympiad.

The IOC has granted 169 Russians entry to compete as individuals under the neutral label "Olympic Athlete from Russia".

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Putin says Russia hopes to turn page on doping at Olympics