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etvfutures.com December 16, 2017


Moscow says Russian Olympic ban created to sour pre-election mood

07 December 2017, 04:28 | Cesar Cruz

We won't stop Russians competing: Putin

International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams attends a press conference during an IOC executive meeting

"Without any doubt, we won't put up any barrier and won't prevent our athletes from participating if they want to compete as individuals", Putin said Wednesday in Nizhny Novgorod.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday banned the Russian team from the Games after evidence emerged of an "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of doping procedures but left the door open for Russians to compete as neutrals if they demonstrate they have a doping-free background. Numerous athletes "have prepared all their lives for this competition", and officials will have to study the details of the International Olympic Committee's decision on Russian Federation, he said. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko today said his life ban from the Olympic Games was "secondary" to those faced by the country's athletes in the wake of this week's IOC ruling.

"I do not want to evaluate the decision of the International Olympic Committee concerning me personally", he said. It suspended the Russian Olympic Committee and banned the national team from the February 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

"This is politics", said Medvedev, in comments broadcast on state TV.

At the Washington Capitals' morning skate Wednesday, Ovechkin and fellow Russian Evgeny Kuznetsov say they will cheer for the Russian athletes who choose to go to South Korea.

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Answering a question about uncertainty surrounding the participation of USA athletes in the global sports event held on the Korean Peninsula, she said Washington would continue monitoring the situation in the region in order to ensure protection of its athletes.

"I think that this excuse was not used in an honest way, to put it mildly", Putin said without elaborating.

Putin said that taking those thoughts into consideration, the authorities will "definitely not impede anybody or ban anyone, or create conditions for their participation to become impossible".

But athletes who can prove they are clean and have not previously been sanctioned will be allowed to compete. "Then punish those who are guilty", Putin said.



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