Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympic Games for systematic doping

Russia's Olympic team has been barred from competing at next year's 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, amid claims of systematic doping.

The country's government officials are forbidden from attending and their flag will not be flown during the opening ceremony or games.

The IOC's dramatic move comes amid widespread evidence of state-sponsored doping. Source: 1 NEWS

Athletes with rigorous drug testing histories will be able to compete as neutrals, but the Russian national anthem will not play should they win gold.

The IOC has also imposed a lifetime Olympic ban on Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, organizer of football's 2018 World Cup.

The Olympic world is bracing for more evidence of systematic Russian doping.
The Olympic world is bracing for more evidence of systematic Russian doping. Source: Associated Press/Mark Humphrey

IOC President Thomas Bach said the actions taken protect clean athletes while targetting the systematic doping schemes allegedly undertaken by Russia.

"As an athlete myself, I feel very sorry for all the clean athletes from all NOCs who are suffering from this manipulation," he said.

"This was an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport.

"This should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system led by WADA."

Russia is expected to lodge a protest over the decision.

The IOC has also condemned Russia for manipulating the anti-doping lab at the last Winter Olympics in Sochi. Source: Breakfast

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