Russia has been banned from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics after evidence emerged of an “unprecedented systematic manipulation” of the anti-doping system, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Tuesday.
Some of the country’s athletes will be allowed to compete under the tag of “Olympic Athlete of Russia”, if they satisfy strict conditions that show they have a doping-free background.
The IOC also decided to suspend Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) president Alexander Zhukov as an IOC member given that his membership is linked to his position as chief of the ROC, which has been suspended from next year’s Games in South Korea.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko was also banned from any future participation at the Olympic Games.
The IOC told a news conference that the Schmid report confirmed “the systematic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia.”
Samuel Schmid, author of the report, told journalists: ”The results are not based only on (Russia’s former anti-doping chief-turned-whistleblower) Grigoory Rodchenkov’s testimony. There is scientific evidence, witness statements documents and correspondence.
“The facts are that in Russia there was systemic manipulation of doping and the anti-doping system… that also took place at Sochi 2014 (Winter Olympics).”
The IOC’s decision comes 18 months after it had refused an outright ban of Russian athletes at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and told international sports federations to decide individually on the participation of Russians in Brazil.