Russia barred from 2018 Olympic Winter Games over doping

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (NBC News) — Russia’s Olympic team has been barred from the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea as punishment for alleged doping at the 2014 Sochi Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Tuesday.

The IOC also banned Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko for life from the Olympics.

Individual athletes from Russia will be allowed to compete as neutrals “under strict conditions” with uniforms bearing the name “Olympic Athlete from Russia.”

The decision, announced 65 days before the Olympics begin in PyeongChang, was based on the findings of two commissions led by IOC member Denis Oswald and the former President of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid.

The panel led by Oswald is prosecuting Russian athletes suspected of doping violations in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The second panel led by Schmid is studying whether Russian state agencies were involved in the doping program.

The IOC also banned Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko for life from the Olympics. Schmid says the doping program was under Mutko’s authority because he was the sports minister during Sochi.

Russia has repeatedly denied that a state-sponsored doping program ever existed.

The IOC president hopes these restrictions will promote a more effective anti-doping system.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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