Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea over doping scandal, IOC announces



The Russian Olympic Committee was suspended on Tuesday from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea over the 2014 Sochi doping scandal. Russia's Minister of Sports Vitaly Mutko and his then-Deputy Minister Yuri Nagornykh are banned from all future participation at Olympic Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Russian athletes will be able to compete in the Olympics as neutrals.

The IOC, which also suspended the Russian Olympic committee and IOC member Alexander Zhukov, said some competitors will be invited to participate as an "Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)" without their national flag or anthem.

Russia could refuse the offer and boycott the games.

The IOC also banned Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko for life from the Olympics for his role in the country's doping program.

Mutko, who was sports minister at the time of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, remained head of the 2018 World Cup organizing committee.

IOC commission chairman Samuel Schmid says the doping program "was under the authority of the Russian sports ministry. That is why the then sports minister has responsibility for the failure of this system."

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