International Olympic Committee suspends Russian Federation from 2018 Winter Olympics

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

The ban does offer a pathway for individual, clean Russian athletes to still participate in the upcoming Games in Pyeongchang, which start February 9. In the 2014 Winter Games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia led the medal count, with 33 overall and 13 golds. "Requirements have been issued to the global federations and RUSADA (Russian anti-doping agency) for the level of testing of those athletes", he said. Tuesday's action was based on the findings of the IOC's Schmid Commission, formed in July 2016 to examine the role of Russian officials and institutions in organized doping, ESPN reported.

International Olympic Committee commission chairman Samuel Schmid says the doping program "was under the authority of the Russian sports ministry".

It said that "the then Russian Minister had the ultimate administrative responsibility for the acts perpetrated at the time within the Russian Ministry or the entities under its responsibility".

The IOC also ordered the ROC to reimburse the costs of the IOC investigation and to contribute $15 million to the establishment of the Independent Testing Authority.

The IOC report confirmed the findings previous of investigations commissioned by by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), that found evidence that Russian Federation had concealed doping by hundreds of its athletes for years, aided by the country's intelligence services, with the cover-up reaching a crescendo during the 2014 Winter Olympics that Russian Federation hosted in Sochi.

The IOC's decision to choose a more moderate path, instead of a blanket ban, does offer some Russian athletes a path to competing in the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea - although that will be by invitation only and dependent on a stringent testing programme.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously said it would be humiliating for Russia to compete without national symbols.

"This should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system led by Wada", said International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach. Instead, it gave criteria about the eligibility of athletes and left the decisions to the worldwide federations that govern each sport.

Speaking at the press conference announcing the ruling of the IOC Executive was Samuel Schmid, the Swiss politician who led the IOC inquiry into whether anti-doping subterfuge was carried out with the backing of the Russian government.

At Rio, around 270 Russians are cleared to compete, with 111 excluded. The IOC also dismissed Dmitry Chernyshenko, former CEO of the Organizing Committee Sochi 2014, from the Coordination Commission Beijing 2022.

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