Vladimir Putin won't tell Russian athletes to boycott Winter Olympics

Jimmy 3x3 | 6 Views | 2017-12-06T17:05:37+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)Russian President Vladimir Putin says the country's athletes won't be told to boycott the 2018 Winter Olympics following the International Olympic Committee's decision to ban the Russian Olympic team from competing in PyeongChang next February.

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

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

"We, without doubt, will not declare a blockade, we will not prevent our Olympians from taking part [in the Games], if one of them wants to take part in a personal capacity," said Putin on Wednesday.

It had been unclear whether the Kremlin would allow Russian athletes to compete in South Korea as Putin had said in the past that it would be a humiliation to compete without any national symbols.

Earlier on Wednesday the Russian government has said it would "seriously analyze" the decision to ban the country from the forthcoming Games in South Korea before deciding on its response to the ruling.

One leading Russian politician had 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."

More to follow.

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