IOC: Russians can compete at Olympics, but without flag

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When the 2018 Winter Olympics are held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, you won't see any athletes competing under Russia's flag.

Schmid's report, delivered to the 14-strong executive board on Monday, was enough to persuade International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach to take what he had previously considered to be a "nuclear option" with "too much collateral damage".

The IOC punishment did leave room for many Russians to compete under the name "Olympic Athlete from Russia" or OAR. Athletes approved by the panel will compete in a uniform with "Olympic Athlete from Russia" written on it and under an Olympic flag. Should any of those athletes win a gold medal, the Olympic anthem will play instead of the Russian anthem. The statement said that Schmidt's report had confirmed "the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russian Federation".

The IOC decision sparked outrage in Russian Federation, with many saying the country was humiliated and others suggesting to boycott the games.

Mutko, who was also banned from the Rio 2016 Summer Games, had been implicated in the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency)-commissioned McLaren report.

The punishment also prevents Russian officials from participating in official Olympic events, including Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko and Deputy Minister of Sport Yuri Nagornykh, who are permanently banned from all future events.

The IOC also chose to suspend Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) president Alexander Zhukov as an IOC member given that his membership is linked to his position as chief of the ROC, which has been suspended from next year's Games in South Korea.

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"This was an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport", IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement.

According to reports, Russian officials have refused to accept the findings of the McLaren Report from the World Anti-Doping Agency. Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously said it would be humiliating to compete without national symbols.

Many athletes said they wouldn't have felt comfortable had the International Olympic Committee banned all Russians from the Pyeongchang Games.

The Pyeongchang games run through February 25.

Whistleblower, Grigory Rodchenkov, was the former head of a Moscow drug-testing lab.

However, the commission said it had not found "any documented, independent and impartial evidence confirming the support or the knowledge of this system by the highest State authority".

Any sanctions imposed by the International Olympic Committee can also be challenged at CAS, and later at Switzerland's supreme court, which can intervene if the legal process has been abused.

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