Russia barred from competing in Winter Olympics

 | PATRICK REEVELL 12/06/2017 10:19 AM MST
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Credit: Nicolas Raymond - Flickr

The International Olympic Committee has barred Russia from the Winter Olympics this February over systemic doping, but will allow some individual Russian athletes to take part under a neutral Olympic flag.

The IOC's executive committee announced in a statement that it was barring Russia's national Olympic committee from the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The punishment, which will mean that no Russian athletes will compete under the country's colors, is unprecedented in Olympic history and came amid intense pressure to punish the country for its alleged state-sponsored cover-up of doping by its athletes.

In a statement released after it met in Lausanne, Switzerland, the committee said it acted on the recommendations of an IOC commission headed by former Swiss President Samuel Schmid to investigate Russian doping. The statement said his report confirmed "the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia," including efforts to conceal doping at the Sochi Winter Olympics, which Russia hosted in 2014.

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