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Analysts praise 'brave' International Olympic Committee over Russian Federation ban
08 December 2017, 12:57 | Andy Ferguson
Russian flag might be allowed at closing ceremony: IOC
Russian athletes will be able to compete under the Olympic flag and under the name "Olympic Athlete from Russia", but Russian uniforms, the country's flag and its anthem will all be absent - although IOC spokesman Mark Adams said on Wednesday that the flag could make a return at the closing ceremony if Russian athletes play ball during the Games.
Zhukov told the French news agency AFP he "apologized" to the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday for the "anti-doping violations" committed in his country in recent years.
The time may also not be right to send a special envoy to North Korea to encourage North Korea's participation in the Winter Games, according to the report.
In response, the IOC this week suspended the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), banned all ROC officials from the Winter Games to be held in South Korea in February, and will only allow invited Russian athletes to compete under the Olympic flag (i.e., not as representatives of their country).
"As an athlete myself, I'm feeling very sorry for all the clean athletes", Bach said.
The report of the IOC's Disciplinary Commission, on which the ban is based, avoids politicised generalisations about the existence of a "state-run" doping system in Russian Federation. Another report found that more than 1,000 Russian competitors across 30 sports have been involved in a conspiracy to hide positive drug tests over a five-year period.
The doping allegations have been widely perceived in Russian Federation as being politically motivated by Western rivals.
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Another Olympics expert from the University of France-Comte, Eric Monnin, said the International Olympic Committee was "playing for its life and legitimacy" during the sordid state-sponsored doping affair, in which the global body also banned Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko from the Olympics for life. Athletes from around the world, including a few from Alaska, made their opinions known following the ban announcement.
It said the IOC's actions proved that "you can destroy a whole Olympic country on the basis of indirect evidence and a single witness who was under a criminal investigation and has been treated in a psychiatric hospital". "But here, their country kind of went beyond what they needed to do to help their athletes improve their game". "It will be interesting to see what happens next".
Rodchenkov has been living in hiding in the United States since lifting the lid on the intricate workings of a state-supported doping scheme at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
But IOC President Thomas Bach said, "An Olympic boycott has never achieved anything".
In the absence of a boycott, the Russian public will watch Russian athletes compete in South Korea and be reminded of why their flag is not flying at the Games.
"Requirements for Russian athletes are being particularly emphasized by the pre-Games testing task force, because of the situation and work of the commissions", he said.
Ovechkin said he's "pretty sure" the Russian hockey team will still compete in the Olympics, though they will have to do so as a neutral team, and he agrees with that decision.
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