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Russia's Olympic team banned from Games

Russia's Olympic team banned from Games

When the 2018 Winter Olympics are held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, you won't see any athletes competing under Russia's flag.

Reacting to the move Tuesday, Scott Blackmun, CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, said, 'The IOC took a strong and principled decision.

The targeted pre-games testing task force, jointly run by WADA, the IOC and winter and summer sports federations, advises federations and National Olympic committees to test specific athletes.

The qualifying athletes will compete under the name "Olympic Athlete from Russia" and compete under the Olympic flag.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously said it would be humiliating for Russia to compete without national symbols. These competitors will wear a uniform with that name on it and the Olympic anthem will be played at any ceremonies.

In 2016, a WADA report found that more than 1,000 Russian competitors in more than 30 sports had been involved in a conspiracy to hide positive drug tests over a five-year period.

Schmid's report included a 50-page sworn affidavit from Rodchenkov, who was also a key witness for McLaren and an International Olympic Committee disciplinary commission.

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The IOC announced the decision after examining evidence of state-sponsored doping over several years that reached its zenith at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

In suspending Russia's team, Olympic officials left the door open for some n athletes to compete. Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the doping charges against Russia "a risky return to this policy of letting politics interfere with sport". Some Russian officials have threatened to boycott if the International Olympic Committee delivered such a severe punishment.

"This was an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport", IOC President Thomas Bach said.

According to reports, Russian officials have refused to accept the findings of the McLaren Report from the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The report by IOC-appointed investigator Samuel Schmid, the former president of Switzerland who was asked to verify an "institutional conspiracy", included a 50-page sworn affidavit from Rodchenkov, who was also a key witness for McLaren and an International Olympic Committee disciplinary commission.

The commission confirmed that the Russian authorities developed a system that allowed a Moscow laboratory to routinely change positive test results to negative, as well as to tamper with samples during the Sochi Games in 2014. The panel will include members of the Pre-Games Testing Task Force: one appointed by WADA, one by the DFSU and one by the IOC, Dr Richard Budgett.

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