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The latest: the organizers of Pyeongchang respect the decision of the IOC

LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The latest on Russian doping (all locations):


3:30 a.m.

The organizers of the Pyeongchang Olympic Games have issued a statement saying that they accept and respect the International Olympic Committee's decision to allow Russian athletes to compete under a neutral flag at the Winter Games in February.

"We will work with the IOC and all other relevant stakeholders to ensure that all athletes and officials who attend the games as part of this team receive the best possible experience," the statement said.

The Winter Games will run Feb 9-25 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.


10:40 pm

Russia's top Olympic official apologized to the commission of the International Olympic Committee for doping offenses before it was ruled that Russian athletes must compete under neutral flag control in Pyeongchang

"As president of the Russian Olympic Committee, I apologize for the anti-doping rule violations that were committed in our country," said the President of the Republic of China Alexander Zhukov, according to a text of his speech on the website of the Russian Olympic Committee. Russian Olympic Committee.

However, Zhukov, in his speech, rejected the evidence behind the central accusation that Russia was running a doping system at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The speech describes the key informant of the World Anti-Doping Agency, former Moscow anti-doping and Sochi laboratory director Grigory Rodchenkov, as "a swindler" and an unreliable witness who was the main cause of any doping violation.

Zhukov also says in the speech that the Russians competing under a neutral flag at the Olympic Games would feel like pariahs. "

Zhukov adopted a more conciliatory tone after the decision of the IOC, saying he would discuss the issue of Russian participation with the athletes, and praised the IOC for proposing the designation" Olympic "Russian Athlete" for Pyeongchang, instead of a totally neutral name.


10:10 pm

Ian Chesterman, head of mission of the Australian Olympic team in Pyeongchang, said that the decision of the IOC was "appropriate and considered an answer … punishing those involved in the flagrant deception, the systematic manipulation that took place during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games while allowing clean athletes to compete in Pyeongchang. "

In an Australian Olympic declaration on Wednesday, Chesterman added: "The guilty, the corrupt, have been treated, Russia, and everyone involved in Sochi 2014, had the responsibility to nurture the Olympic Games and respect the athletes who They competed by providing fair competition Clearly, on so many levels, that confidence was abused. "


9:50 pm

Former NHL player Ilya Kovalchuk says Russia must go to the Olympics despite not being able to use his national flag in the Pyeongchang Games.

Kovalchuk tells Russian news agencies that a boycott would not work. He says that "to refuse means to yield" to what he calls political pressure.

The IOC has ruled that any Russian gold medalist will have the Olympic anthem, not the Russian anthem, played on the podium. Kovalchuk says that Russian players will sing their anthem if they can win a medal.

Kovalchuk adds that "patriotism and love for your country is in your heart, for that you do not have to shout or carry the flag on your chest, and if, I hope, we manage to compete well, then we will definitely sing the anthem ".

Kovalchuk was named to the Russian pre-Olympic hockey team on Tuesday.


9:35 pm

The spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that the IOC ruling is "painful".

Maria Zakharova writes on Facebook: "Is it painful? Very … Are we going to survive?" Yes. "

Zakharova adds that the 2014 Sochi Games showed that" Russia hosted a truly excellent Olympics " .

The IOC ruled that there was an anti-doping conspiracy at the Sochi Olympic Games.


9:25 pm

The IOC seeks to eliminate much of Russia's contaminated Sochi operation in future Olympic Games.

The chairman of the organizing committee of Sochi, Dmitry Chernyshenko, lost his place on the IOC panel overseeing the preparations for the Beijing Olympic Games 2022.

Chernyshenko was a smiling and familiar face at the Sochi Games, which Russia spent $ 51 billion to organize and organize, and now leads the Kontinental Hockey League.

In a string of punishments for the Sochi doping program, the IOC also ruled that "no member of the leaders of the Russian Olympic Team" in Sochi can be invited to the Pyeongchang Olympic Games.

Coaches and physicians whose athletes have been guilty of a doping violation will also be excluded from accreditation in South Kore a.


9:10 pm

The honorary chairman of the Russian Olympic Committee says that the country's athletes should compete in the Pyeongchang Games as neutral athletes instead of boycotting.

Leonid Tyagachev tells the Russian that "there is a flaw, but it only allows young athletes who do not compete in the Olympics in Sochi to compete cleanly and prove that we are from Russia and that we are not pariahs."

News from Russian television typically portrayed accusations of a doping system as unfair, and cited comments from viewers condemning the ruling.

Transmissions on Russia's main news channel showed graphics that included the Olympic rings crossed out with a red line and the phrase #noRUSSIAnoGAMES. [19659002] ___

9 pm

The president of the Russian Olympic Committee says that the country's athletes need time to consider whether they will take part in the Pyeongchang Games.

Alexander Zhukov says "We plan to be discussed" by Russian sports officials and athletes at a next meeting before a final decision on participation, but did not give a date.

Zhukov paints the decision as a compromise, saying that "there is a positive attitude and negative sides," and praising the decision of the International Olympic Committee to use the term "Russian Olympic athlete" for Russian competitors under a neutral flag.

Previously, the suspended countries have used terms such as "independent Olympic athlete," which was used last year for Kuwaiti competitors at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

Zhukov says that "they will be called Russian athletes and not a kind of neutrals … that's very important".

Two-time world champion skater Evgenia Medvedeva, who also appeared in front of the IOC board, will not say whether she will compete as a neutral.

Medvedeva says "it will be discussed more and it's too early to ask questions like at."


8:30 pm

Olympic bronze medalist Matt Antoine was wrong, and he was delighted.

The American has been very open in his criticism of how the IOC and the Anti-World Cup The Doping Agency has managed to sanction Russia and its athletes for their roles in the state-sponsored doping scandal at the Sochi Games 2014.

He says he was "really in shock" when he heard the IOC ruling that will prevent Russia from Pyeongchang and allow clean Russian athletes to compete under the Olympic flag.

"Without a doubt it is the right decision and the only option that allows athletes, nations and fans to continue to believe in the Olympic movement," Antoine said.

Antoine says the decision was bold, and that the athletes are celebrating the position of the IOC.

"Dedicated athletes from around the world, thank you," said Antoine.


8:20 pm

The International Olympic Committee has ruled that the Kremlin was not responsible for the widespread doping of Russian athletes at the 2014 Sochi Games.

An IOC disciplinary commission under Samuel Schmid "has not found any documented, independent and impartial evidence to confirm the support or knowledge of this system by the highest state authority."

However, the IOC banned Vitaly Mutko and Yuri Nagornykh, who was minister and deputy minister of sports of Russia at the time of the Sochi Olympics, attended any future game.

Schmid's commission does not specifically accuse the wrongdoers, but says that Mutko must "bear most of the responsibility" because the ministry had the task of supervising anti-doping operations at the Sochi Olympics.


8:15 p.m.

The immediate reaction of many The athletes after the decision of the International Olympic Committee were: Russia will compete?

Russia is likely to be a medal factor in the Pyeongchang Games in various sliding sports, mainly men's sled, men's skeleton, women's skeleton and men's sled. 19659002] US veteran Luge, Chris Mazdzer, says many Russians at the World Cup sled circuit told him in recent weeks that they expected a total ban, and he wonders if President Vladimir Putin could decide to boycott.

"Putin could say: 'You can not compete', and they will not," said Mazdzer.

Erin Hamlin, who won a bronze medal in women's luge at the 2014 Sochi Games, says she would not be surprised if the Russians were not in Pyeongchang at all.

"Russia is such a proud nation," Hamlin said. "I would not be surprised if they were not allowed."


7:50 pm

The IOC has banned Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko forever from the Olympics for his role in the country Doping Program.

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

IOC Commission President Samuel Schmid says the doping program " It was under the authority of the Russian Ministry of Sports, which is why the then Minister of Sports has responsibility for the failure of this system. "

Mutko appeared in the Kremlin last week with FIFA president Gianni Infantino. There were no immediate comments from FIFA about the continuing role of Mukto as head of the Russian football federation and the organizing committee of the World Cup.


7:40 pm

The International Olympic Committee says that Russian athletes will be able to compete in the upcoming Pyeongchang Olympic Games as neutrals.

The IOC, which also suspended the Russian Olympic Committee and IOC member Alexander Zhukov, says that some competitors will be invited to participate as a "Russian Olympic athlete (OAR)" without their national flag or anthem.

Russia could reject the offer and boycott the games.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said previously that it would be humiliating for Russia to compete without national symbols.

The IOC also imposed a fine of $ 15 million on the Russian Olympic Committee.


2:20 pm

The IOC medical director says that Russian athletes are "particularly emphasized" in specific doping tests on athletes preparing for the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The Chief Medical Officer of the International Olympic Committee, Richard Budgett, says that the requirements imposed on Russia "are not made in other countries."

Budgett informed the media about the work of the Pyeongchang anti-doping force before attending a meeting of the IOC executive board that will decide whether Russian athletes can go to the next games.

From April to October, almost 7,000 samples of 4,000 athletes were taken in tests coordinated by the IOC, the World Anti-Doping Agency and winter sports federations.

The IOC says that more than 17 percent of the samples were taken from the Russians. Skiers and snowboarders provided 471 of 1,240 Russian samples in total.

Budgett says that athletes traveling to South Korea "can be more confident than ever" at a clean Olympics.


10:40 am

The IOC executive board meets to decide whether Russian athletes can compete in the upcoming Pyeongchang Olympics despite evidence that the country led an orchestrated doping program at the 2014 Sochi Games.

The International Olympic Committee did not prohibit Russia from participating in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Janeiro. Instead, the IOC asked the governing bodies of the sport to decide which athletes could compete.

The IOC could now impose a stricter sanction by allowing the Russians to compete only as neutral athletes without the name, flag or anthem of their national team.

Bach plans to announce the 14-member board decision at 7:30 p.m. (1830 GMT) Tuesday.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material can not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.

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