Putin Says Russia Won't Boycott PyeongChang Olympics

Putin Says Russia Won't Boycott PyeongChang Olympics

Putin Says Russia Won't Boycott PyeongChang Olympics

The IOC ruled Tuesday individual Russians may still compete as an "Olympic Athlete from Russia".

But in his first comments after the International Olympic Committee decision, Mr. Putin said: "We will not be announcing any kind of blockade".

He later added: "This all looks like an absolutely staged and politically motivated decision". "We all see this, for me there is no doubt about it", he said. Membership the head of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov, the IOC suspended.

He said including the word "Russia" in the team name was a key issue.

"We need to do everything to make sure our athletes are not subject to any kind of discrimination, and that they are given equal opportunities", he added.

The games will not be broadcast in the country because of the absence of a Russian national team.

Putin's spokesman pointed to a statement made by IOC President Thomas Bach, in which he said that all the invited Russian athletes would be able to go [to the Olympics] at the IOC's expense.

Russia could refuse the offer to let its athletes compete without national identity or the playing of the Russian national anthem. By the time athletes arrive in PyeongChang, representatives for the International Olympic Committee said they anticipate that some 20,000 tests will have been done, many of them given to Russian athletes after widespread drug use scandals at previous Games.

However, Pyotr Tolstoy, deputy speaker of the State Duma, the Russian parliament's lower house, has called for a boycott.

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"The whole situation is a little bit hard", Ovechkin said.

A report made by a WADA investigator and presented previous year before the Rio de Janeiro Olympics included the testimony of the informer Grigori Rodchenkov, who worked with the Moscow branch of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). In its full decision published following the November 24 verdict, the International Olympic Committee disciplinary panel chaired by Denis Oswald has detailed why it disqualified Zubkov and banned him for life from the Olympics. "But I don't think anything will change".

In fact, even after the damaging allegations emerged, Putin promoted Mutko from Sports Minister to Deputy Prime Minister, while several subordinates to Mutko were either fired or resigned. He previously has said it would be humiliating for Russian Federation to compete without its national symbols. "We shouldn't be thinking that winning at any price shows the greatness of our motherland, but we rather have to think of fairness in sports'".

Zubkov, who carried Russia's flag at the Sochi opening ceremony, has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

If they win, the Olympic flag would be raised and the Olympic anthem played to honor their victories.

When commenting WADA's accusation of an alleged state system to supply drugs to athletes, Medvedev made it clear that his country will not give credit in any way to a clear lie based on arguments that the worldwide institution can not prove.

Instead, Russia blames Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of Moscow and Sochi testing laboratories, as a rogue employee.

The scientist is now living under federal protection in the United States.

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