Olympics: Russia banned from Pyeongchang Games - IOC

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Despite repeated Russian denials, the Schmid report has found evidence of "the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system" which back up previous allegations of government involvement in cheating in the run up to and during the Winter Olympics nearly four years ago.

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

More information to come.

The Russian doping scandal began in Sochi. In addition, athletes can only compete on an invitation-based system, which the International Olympic Committee has stated will be selective - and subject athletes to greater scrutiny.

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

Prior to today, the "Russian ban" in worldwide competition was limited only to track and field athletes, who were disallowed to compete in uniform at the 2016 Olympic Games or the 2017 IAAF World Championships.

He concluded that Russia had engaged in a state-sponsored doping program that covered 30 sports and tainted Russian results between 2012 and 2015, which included both the London Summer Olympics and Sochi Winter Olympics.

Mutko, who was sports minister at the time of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, remains head of the 2018 World Cup organizing committee.

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The IOC has not in the past imposed a total ban for doping, instead passing the decision on individual athletes to the global federations governing each individual sport. However no announcement has yet been made by the country's president, Vladimir Putin, or the Russian Olympic Committee.

Russian officials deny any state involvement in the doping of athletes.

In an unprecedented move, the International Olympic Committee has banned Russian Federation from the 2018 Olympic Games.

The Russian Olympic committee will also have to reimburse the IOC for the cost of the investigation as well contribute $15 million toward the creation of an independent testing authority. Russia was certainly going to pick up the slack, likely cruising to a gold medal in the process by allowing their professional players in the KHL (the overwhelming majority of whom are Russian) to play in the Olympics. "The IOC needs to take control of the situation, rather than allow the Russians to pre-empt it by walking away".

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Budgett says athletes going to South Korea "can be more confident than ever" of a clean Olympics.

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