International Olympic Committee bans Russian Federation from 2018 Winter Olympics following doping scandal

IOC Bans Russia From 2018 Winter Olympics

2018 Winter Olympics: IOC sees over 20000 drugs tests in Pyeongchang lead-up

Russian flags, anthems and uniforms will be banned but numerous country's athletes will still be allowed to compete at the upcoming 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games in the wake of a massive doping scandal.

It follows an investigation into allegations of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Games hosted by Russian Federation in Sochi.

Russian athletes who can prove their innocence of drug cheating will be permitted to compete under the designation of an "Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)", the IOC announced in a news release.

The Russian flag and anthem will be missing from the upcoming Olympic Winter Games.

More than 20 athletes have been banned for life from the Olympics in the past weeks over alleged doping violations at the 2014 Sochi Games.

More on this as it develops.

It is likely to face a legal appeal from Russia's Olympic Committee. Athletes may compete under neutral flag.

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At the time the IOC's reasoning was that it did not have time to look over the report fully, or verify all of WADA's claims.

Russia's massive scheme to dope its athletes and cover it up was first brought to light in December, 2014 - 10 months after the Sochi Olympics - by German journalist Hajo Seppelt.

From April through October, nearly 7,000 samples were taken from 4,000 athletes in tests coordinated by the IOC, World Anti-Doping Agency and winter sports federations.

Ahead of the IOC's decision, NPR's Lucian Kim visited Moscow's famous Gorky Park to hear what Russians are making of the claims against their country in some of its most revered sports. "I have very serious suspicions that this is done to create the necessary environment, to incite discontent among sports fans, athletes, that the state was allegedly involved in these violations and is responsible for them in response to our alleged interference in their elections, they want to create problems during the election of the president of Russian Federation".

"We intend to defend the interests of our athletes, of the Russian Federation, to remain committed to the ideals of Olympism and preserve all ties with the International Olympic Committee, and through these ties the problems that have arisen will be resolved", Peskov told reporters on a conference call.

But that appeal was rejected in light of the conclusions of Samuel Schmid, a former president of Switzerland whom the Olympic committee appointed past year to review the findings of a scathing investigation commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

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