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The red Russian uniforms won't be in Pyeongchang, but the athletes will

07 December 2017

"As the president of the Russian Olympic Committee, I apologise for the violations of the anti-doping rules that were committed in our country", said Zhukov.

Putin noted that Russia was partially to blame for the situation, and called for anyone actually found guilty of violating the IOC's anti-doping rules to be punished, but added that the body used the allegations in a "dishonest" way to issue a blanket ban against the entire Russian team.

"I can not accept the option that I would compete in the Olympic Games without the Russian flag as a neutral athlete", Medvedeva said in a statement issued by Russia's Olympic Committee (and translated into English by Google Translate).

Two IOC commission leaders - appointed after WADA investigator Richard McLaren upheld Rodchenkov's doping claims in July 2016 - also reported to the Olympic board. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will not boycott or block those athletes from competing. The South Korean-born skating legend, is an eight-time gold medalist who obtained Russian citizenship in 2011, after a public falling out with South Korea's skating union.

Russia's ice hockey forward Ilya Kovalchuk has told TASS news agency that he believes Russian athletes should go to the Olympics.

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She said: "For most athletes the Olympic Games is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity". If they go to Pyeongchang, they'll compete under the Olympic flag; if they win medals, their country's anthem won't be played.

Russian athletes now face a choice between competing under the neutral flag or not competing at all. The IOC has stripped 11 medals from Russia's tally in Sochi so far over the doping.

"They are always trying to put us down in everything - our way of life, our culture, our history and now our sport", Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, wrote in a Facebook post.

The IOC says the OAR team will be picked by a panel of anti-doping and medical officials from various organizations.

"This group, together with International Olympic Committee departments, is ready to answer questions which will come from Russian Federation, and to give any backgrounds for decisions".

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It was a nod toward the unmarked Russian soldiers who helped conquer Crimea in 2014, as the country wrapped up its own Olympic Games. Zhukov said that it was positive that Russian athletes could still participate in Pyeongchang.

A hard line has been taken by the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, or VGTRK, which said Tuesday that if Team Russia isn't competing in South Korea, it won't broadcast the 2018 Winter Olympics. He also noted that it was "very important" that the neutral uniforms that Russian athletes would wear would still have the word "Russia" on them.

It is now likely that a number of Russian champion athletes will compete.

It said the IOC's actions proved that "you can destroy a whole Olympic country on the basis of indirect evidence and a single witness who was under a criminal investigation and has been treated in a psychiatric hospital".

At the Kremlin, Peskov said questions remain about how the ban would be enacted.

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The red Russian uniforms won't be in Pyeongchang, but the athletes will