Sport Putin says Russia won't prevent athletes from competing in Pyeongchang

09:56  07 december  2017
09:56  07 december  2017 Source:   Reuters

IOC weighs Russian Olympic ban, risks provoking Putin

  IOC weighs Russian Olympic ban, risks provoking Putin Russia could be banned from competing at the Pyeongchang Olympics, a prospect that President Vladimir Putin has already warned would be humiliating for his country. The decision will come on Tuesday when the International Olympic Committee executive board meets in Lausanne, less than nine weeks before the games open on Feb. 9 in South Korea.The 14-member board, which includes two Americans, has received a so-far confidential report from an IOC-appointed panel. That panel was asked to assess if Russian state agencies did organize the doping program used at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would not prevent its athletes from competing at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics if they wanted to, damping down calls from some Russians for a boycott of the Games.

MOSCOW, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would not prevent its athletes from competing at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics if they wanted to, damping down calls from some Russians for a boycott of the Games.

  Putin says Russia won't prevent athletes from competing in Pyeongchang © Getty

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would not prevent its athletes from competing at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics if they wanted to, damping down calls from some Russians for a boycott of the Games.

The IOC on Tuesday banned the Russian team from the Olympics after evidence emerged of an "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of the anti-doping system but left the door open for some Russians to compete as neutrals if they demonstrate they have a doping-free background.

"Without any doubt, we will not declare a blockade, we will not prevent our Olympians from taking part (in the Games), if one of them wants to participate in a personal capacity," Putin said on state television.

Pyeongchang in a cold sweat over freezing opening ceremony

  Pyeongchang in a cold sweat over freezing opening ceremony <p>South Korea's winter Olympics organizers have worries other than a ban on Russia competing, poor ticket sales and tensions over North Korea. They fear it may be too cold.</p>The Pyeongchang Games in February may feel like the coldest Olympics in at least three decades because the main stadium lacks a roof, leaving an estimated 35,000 spectators, including world leaders, exposed to extreme cold for the opening ceremony.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would not prevent its athletes from competing at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics if they wanted to, damping down calls for a boycott of the Games.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would not prevent its athletes from competing at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics if they wanted to, damping down calls from some Russians for a boycott of the Games.

In his first comments since the ban, Putin took aim at Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Moscow's anti-doping laboratory whose allegations of state-sponsored doping and a cover-up at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics triggered investigations that ultimately led to the IOC decision.

Without identifying Rodchenkov by name, Putin said the IOC's decision had been "mainly based on the testimonies of a person whose moral and ethical attitudes and psychological state raise many questions."

"Most of the accusations are based on facts that have not been proven and are largely unfounded," Putin said.

Putin said that Russia bore a share of blame for the IOC decision for having given international Olympic authorities a pretext for banning the country.

Medal prospect Elise Christie heads-up Pyeongchang squad

  Medal prospect Elise Christie heads-up Pyeongchang squad Triple world champion Elise Christie will lead a five-strong Great Britain short-track team to next year's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Christie will head into her third Games as a strong medal prospect after winning 1000m and 1500m world titles, as well as the overall crown, in Rotterdam earlier this year.And the 27-year-old will be eager to make up for the series of disqualifications which wrecked her chances of claiming a first Olympic medal in Sochi in 2014.Christie said: "It's been a great end to the World Cup season for me and a relief after a tough season with injuries.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would not prevent its athletes from competing at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics if they wanted to, damping down calls from some Russians for a boycott of the Games.

MOSCOW— Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would not prevent its athletes from competing at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics if they wanted to, damping down calls from some Russians for a boycott of the Games.

"I think that this excuse was not used in an honest way, to put it mildly," Putin said without elaborating.

He did not budge on Russia's insistence that there was no state-sponsored doping system in the country.

"Why are our Olympians being banned from competing under the Russian flag and national symbols, if there is no state support for doping? Then punish those who are guilty," Putin said.

Putin, who announced on Wednesday he would run in a Russian presidential election next year, said he had not instructed officials to deliver victory for the Russian team at the Sochi Games.

Related videos: Lawyer of the whistleblower for Russia doping scandal on why the doctor came forward (CBS News)

The Kremlin leader said a final decision on Russia's stance regarding the IOC ban would be made at a meeting of Russian Olympic authorities in the coming days.

Russian pair disqualified from London 2012 after new tests reveal doping

  Russian pair disqualified from London 2012 after new tests reveal doping Two more Russian athletes have failed drugs tests from the London 2012 Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee has announced. Anna Nazarova, who finished fifth in the women's long jump, and the 400 metres runner Yulia Gushchina have both been disqualified from their respective competitions.Gushchina finished 15th in the individual event and won silver in the 4x400m relay. That is a medal which has already been stripped from Russia after a previous doping case involving Gushchina's team-mate Antonina Krivoshapka.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would not prevent its athletes from competing at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics if they wanted to, damping down calls from some Russians for a boycott of the Games.

Moscow: President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said Russia would allow athletes to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics under a neutral flag after the "We will certainly not declare any boycott, we will not prevent our Olympians from competing , if they want to take part in a personal capacity," Putin

South Korea's sports ministry said on Thursday that the ban on Russia participation is "regrettable", and urged Russian atheletes to take part.

"If we will be able to see the excellent performance that Russian atheletes demonstrated in previous winter games, that will make a huge contributions to the success of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics," the ministry said in a statement.

Russian authorities have vehemently denied any state support for doping and have pledged to cooperate with international sports authorities to counter the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs.

In the weeks ahead of Tuesday's IOC decision, more than 20 Russian athletes who competed at the 2014 Sochi Games were banned for life from the Olympics for having allegedly violated anti-doping rules.

Russia's athletics federation, Paralympic Committee and anti-doping agency RUSADA remain suspended over doping scandals. (Reporting by Jack Stubbs, Additional reporting by Soyoung Kim in SEOUL,; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Christian Lowe & Simon Cameron-Moore)

Whistle-Blower on Doping Says Neutral Flag for Russia Is Fair Option .
In his first interview since being put under protection of federal authorities, Grigory Rodchenkov said, “Innocent athletes should not be prevented from participating.”With top Olympics officials expected imminently to announce a punishment for Russia over its elaborate sports doping scheme, the whistle-blower who played a central role in the illicit program said he was in favor of allowing Russian athletes who can establish their innocence to compete under a neutral flag at the coming Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

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