Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics

Russia on Tuesday was banned from next year's Winter Olympics in South Korea over state-sponsored doping.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) barred athletes from competing under the Russian flag in PyeongChang, although those with a clean record of drug-testing will be able to compete as neutrals.

Following a meeting of its Executive Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland, the IOC said individual Russian athletes would be invited under strict conditions.

These invited athletes will participate, be it in individual or team competitions, under the name 'Olympic Athlete from Russia', the IOC said in a statement.

The Russian flag and national anthem would not feature in the games.

The IOC also excluded Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko and his deputy Yuri Nagornykh from participating in future Olympics.

It also suspended Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov as an IOC member.

During the 2014 Sochi Games, Russian scientists tampered with more than 100 urine samples to conceal evidence of steroid use during the games.

The PyeongChang Games will see medals handed to Russian athletes later found to be drug cheats redistributed to reflect the revised standings from Sochi.

In Moscow, officials rejected the doping allegations and urged a boycott of the games.

Igor Lebedev, deputy parliamentary speaker, described the ban as a humiliation. The best decision at this point is to boycott the Olympics so we can show the power of Russia, he said. If we join the Olympics, it will be a sign of weakness.

Zhukov claimed that Russian athletes have been checked by international doping agencies for the last two years and have not used doping and all the accomplishments of Russian athletes during this period have been achieved honestly.

The Russian State Broadcasting Company announced it would not broadcast the Winter Olympics in protest.

Source: Anadolu Agency