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Kremlin says Russian boycott of 2018 Olympics not under consideration

07 Décembre 2017

Russia's delegation will only receive the crucial Schmid Commission report 20 minutes before they present their case during the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board meeting here today, insidethegames understands.

Russia's Olympic Committee has also been ordered to pay $15 million to reimburse the IOC's costs of investigating the doping scandal and help set up the new Independent Testing Authority (ITA).

A 2016 report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found widespread evidence of state-sponsored doping across many Olympic sports in Russian Federation, as well as a cover-up, and said security agents were involved in swapping positive urine samples for clean ones at Sochi.

Russian athletes will be allowed to stand on the medal podium at the Winter Olympics - just not with their anthem playing or their nation's flag rising above them.

Looking ahead to the process of determining which Russian athletes were "clean", WADA President, Sir Craig Reedie said.

The IOC also imposed a fine of $15 million United States on the Russian Olympic committee to pay for investigations into the case and toward future anti-doping work.

Canadian Olympic Committee president Tricia Smith was pleased with the decision to ban Russian Federation.

Anti-doping activists are demanding that the International Olympic Committee impose a blanket ban on Russian athletes competing in Pyeongchang, but there has been speculation that it could opt for a softer option.

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The findings were based on the testimony of the primary whistleblower, Grigory Rodchenkov, the eccentric former head of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, who was immortalized in the Netflix documentary Icarus. It blames Rodchenkov as a rogue employee, and wants the scientist extradited from the United States, where he is a protected witness. The delegation was led by Zhukov, who was later suspended.

The 17-month investigation carried out by the former president of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid, was tasked with looking at whether or not the Russian government and authorities had played a part in covering up doping of the country's athletes during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

The chairman of that disciplinary panel, Swiss lawyer Denis Oswald, reported about prosecuting Russian athletes implicated in cheating at the 2014 Sochi Games.

Since then, the I.O.C. has stripped more than a dozen athletes of their medals and banned them from the games for life after it re-tested all Russian athlete samples from the games.

A subsequent Executive Board verdict on how to sanction Russian participation at Pyeongchang 2018 due to be announced at 7.30pm local time this evening is billed as one of the most important in the history of the IOC.

Rodchenkov, who fled Russian Federation in 2015 to seek refuge in the United States where he is now enrolled in a witness protection program, claimed to have masterminded the doping and evasion infrastructure that peaked at the Sochi games.

The IOC said a panel of officials chaired by former France Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron will decide which athletes to accept at the Olympics in February.

The banned Russian athletes have said they will appeal the Oswald judgments at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Kremlin says Russian boycott of 2018 Olympics not under consideration