Russia to analyze 'humiliating' 2018 Winter Olympic ban

Jimmy 3x3 | 5 Views | 2017-12-06T16:05:34+00:00
Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics
  • Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics
  • IOC said there had been "systemic manipulation" of anti-doping rules
  • "Clean" Russian athletes can compete

(CNN)Russia will "seriously analyze" the decision to ban the Russian Olympic team from the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang next February before deciding on its response to Tuesday's ruling by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

One leading Russian politician has described the IOC's decision as humiliating, but in his regular call with journalists, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that many questions remained unanswered and that it would be "incorrect" to give into any emotions.

He went on to say that the outstanding questions need to be tackled before any "consolidated position comes from the Olympic assembly" or Russian athletes.

Answering a question on possible action against Russian officials, Peskov said he was not able to comment but added: "This is not a priority, our priority is defending the interests of our athletes, Russian athletes, and we must concentrate all of our efforts on that first, then deal with everything else later."

One of the world's major winter sports powers, Russia was banned from taking part in February's Winter Olympics on Tuesday after the IOC found the country had engaged in "systemic manipulation" of anti-doping rules.

It is the most wide-ranging punishment meted out by the IOC on a participating nation, let alone a powerhouse of the Olympic movement.

Putin has previously said it would be a humiliation to compete without any national symbols

Having consistently denied the allegations of a state-backed doping campaign, Russia could now decide to block the offer of exemptions and boycott the PyeongChang Olympics altogether.

Vladimir Putin has previously said it would be a humiliation to compete without any national symbols, but even though the Russian President spoke at a sports facility near Moscow on Wednesday he did not address Russia's Winter Olympic ban.

Russia's Olympic Committee has also been ordered to pay $15 million to reimburse the IOC's costs of investigating the doping scandal and help set up the new Independent Testing Authority (ITA).

Additionally, Vitaly Mutko -- the deputy prime minister of Russia, former minister of sport and chairman of the organizing committee for soccer's 2018 World Cup in Russia -- has been barred from attending any future Olympic Games and so has his former deputy, Yuri Nagornykh.

However, Russian athletes who can prove that they are clean will be "invited" to compete in Pyeongchang under the name "Olympic Athlete from Russia" (OAR).

'Heart and soul with athletes'

The reaction to the IOC's ban has been mixed in Russia.

Chairman of the Russian Parliament Igor Lebedev said the decision was 'humiliating and insulting to great sporting Russia', while head of Russia's Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov said "one of the positive decisions is that all doping-related sanctions and investigations against Russian athletes will be stopped from this moment."

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on her Facebook page that Russia would "survive."

"They are constantly trying prove the absurdity of everything to us: our way of life, culture, history and now sport," she wrote. "Is it painful? Very. Heart and soul are now with our athletes. Will we survive? Yes.

"What have we not had to historically endure from our 'partners.' Well, we cannot be overwhelmed. Neither by world war, nor the collapse of the Soviet Union, nor sanctions ... We will take them all and survive."

Russian great does not want athletes to boycott Games

Isinbayeva is a former pole vault world record holder

Some prominent Russian Olympians say they haven't yet decided if they'll compete.

Evgenia Medvedeva, a two-time world figure-skating champion, told reporters after the IOC's decision that it was "too early" for her to decide whether she would take part.

Figure skating is one of the most popular Winter Olympics events, and the loss of Medvedeva -- widely tipped for a gold medal -- would be a major blow to fans.

In a speech to the IOC panel before the ruling came down, Medvedeva seemed to indicate she would not compete as a neutral athlete, saying she "could not accept" that option.

But former pole vault world champion Yelena Isinbayeva, one of the most high-profile sports people in the country, has described the fact that Russian athletes will be allowed to compete in South Korea next year as a "positive."

Isinbayeva, who was not allowed to compete at last year's Summer Olympics in Rio because of the ban athletics' governing body the IAAF imposed on Russian athletes, posted on Instagram: "I will call on all the athletes from our country not to even speak the word 'boycott' out loud, because they should understand they have a chance. I didn't have a chance last year."

Looking ahead to the process of determining which Russian athletes were "clean," WADA President, Sir Craig Reedie said. "It must be proven that these athletes have not been implicated in the institutionalized scheme and have been tested as overseen by the panel.

"We are eager to collaborate with other stakeholders in this regard."

Richard McLaren, whose reports into Russian doping -- the second of which was published last year -- provided much of the basis for the IOC's decision, told CNN that it was a "sad commentary on sport," but added that he was pleased his work had been confirmed by the IOC's decision.

The 17-month IOC investigation carried out by the former president of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid, was tasked with looking at whether or not the Russian government and authorities had played a part in covering up doping of the country's athletes during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Schmid's report confirmed "the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia."

Separately, the parallel Oswald Commission -- headed by another Swiss, the IOC member, Denis Oswald -- is dealing with the specific cases and determining sanctions against individual athletes.

A total of 22 Russian athletes who we ere disqualified from the Winter Olympic Games and have had results and medals stripped for doping offenses related to the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, have filed an appeal against the IOC Disciplinary Committee's rulings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, according to a CAS statement.

The athletes had been retrospectively sanctioned by the IOC following work carried out by the Oswald commission.

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