Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
Sport | By Floyd Cook

'Icarus' Filmmakers "Applaud" IOC's Decision To Bar Russia From 2018 Olympic Games

'Icarus' Filmmakers

The International Olympic Committee banned the Russian Federation from the upcoming Winter Olympics on Tuesday but left the door open for individual Russian athletes to compete.

But Russia was officially barred from the PyeongChang Winter Games over allegations of systematic, state-sponsored doping between 2011 and 2015.

"This should draw a line under this damaging episode", the International Olympic Committee said in an announcement made by its president, Thomas Bach in Lausanne on Tuesday. The Olympic Anthem will be played in any ceremony.

WADA's report calls on Russia's track and field team to be banned from worldwide competition, including from the 2016 Rio Olympics, until "state-sponsored" doping is eradicated.

International Olympic Committee commission chairman Samuel Schmid said the doping program "was under the authority of the Russian sports ministry".

The IOC also heard from a large Russian delegation, led by the former KGB agent Vitaly Smirnov - a long-time IOC member and a major sports administrator dating back to the Soviet era - as well as the brilliant 18-year-old skater Evgenia Medvedeva, the double-world champion who has not been beaten for two years.

More on this as it develops.

On Tuesday, that punishment came down. They will compete with a uniform bearing this name and under the Olympic Flag.

Meanwhile, Russian coaches and athletes were vehemently condemning the decision and discussing how it could be appealed.

Russian officials have refused to acknowledge the scope and depth of the findings about the country's Olympic teams, saying that the problems were limited to individual athletes.

BC-OLY-IOC-Russian Doping, 4th Ld-Writethru, 545IOC: Russians can compete at Olympics, but without flagAP Photo FOS114, FOS120, FOS129, FOS113, FOS112Eds: Minor edits.

The former head of Moscow's anti-doping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov, who is exiled in the United States, describes an organised doping campaign including at least 15 medallists from the Sochi Olympics, with the close involvement of the sports ministry and Russia's FSB security service, the successor to the KGB.

"An Olympic boycott has never achieved anything", Bach said at a news conference Tuesday. It wants the scientist extradited from the United States, where he is a protected witness.

Released in two phases, the McLaren Report concluded that Russia's scheme involved more than 1,000 Russian athletes - and that it also included plans both for manipulating doping controls and for covering up the system. The statement said that Schmidt's report had confirmed "the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russian Federation".

At Rio, around 270 Russians are cleared to compete, with 111 excluded. By Monday, 25 Russians had been disqualified from the Sochi Games and banned from the Olympics for life, and 11 medals were stripped.

The sanctions can be challenged at the Court of Arbitration for Sport and later at Switzerland's supreme court, which can intervene if legal process has been abused.

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