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Russia Says It Needs to Analyze Winter Olympics Ban Before Taking Action
07 December 2017, 07:08 | Erica Roy
Sputnik Vitaly Podvitski No Russian
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.
Bach also said the Russian Olympic Committee must pay a total of $15 million to pay for the IOC's doping investigation and to contribute money to the Independent Testing Authority "to build the capacity and the integrity of the global anti-doping system". Should they win gold medals, the Olympic anthem, not the Russian anthem, will be played in the medal ceremonies.
But the International Olympic Committee also said it would allow some individual Russian athletes to take part as neutrals, provided they were able to pass a specially created International Olympic Committee anti-doping panel.
Pole vault star Yelena Isinbayeva told TASS: "Addressing our athletes, I want to say that they should absolutely not despair and should continue training for the games".
"I am confident that the IOC, the respective worldwide sport federations and the World Anti-Doping Agency will collaborate with the Russian authorities to apply the appropriate corrective measures".
"Russia has been punished, including the government in the guise of Mutko, but there exists a way out for those athletes who have nothing to do with this".
"We urge the active participation of winter sports athletes from all over the world, including Russian athletes".
"Many athletes, I know many of them personally, have been preparing for these competitions their entire lives, it wasn't only a couple of years of preparation, they have been preparing for their whole careers, and for them it's very important". "Some say, 'Yes, we've worked so hard". But he went on, "I believe that this grounds was used in not a not quite honest manner, to put it mildly". There is also scientific evidence, witness statements and correspondence. "That's the paper that we signed that says we would be banned no matter what".
The IOC on Tuesday banned Russian Federation from the Olympics after evidence emerged of an "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of the anti-doping system.
The International Olympic Committee has banned the Russian team from games as punishment for doping violations at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
The IOC's president, Thomas Bach on Tuesday described that scheme as an "unprecedented attack" on the Olympics.
In another development on Wednesday, 22 Russians disqualified from Sochi 2014 for doping offences and banned from the Olympics filed appeals at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The IOC also made a decision to suspend Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) president Alexander Zhukov as an IOC member, while Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, sports minister at the time of the Sochi Games, was also banned from any future participation at the Olympics.
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