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08 December 2017, 12:59 | Pamela Mathis
Alaskan athletes react as Olympic committee bans Russia
"I don't want to assess the IOC's decision made regarding me", Mutko said.
In truth, the International Olympic Committee could hardly fail to act given the evidence uncovered by the explosive World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) sponsored McLaren report and two subsequent International Olympic Committee investigations, which found that Russian athletes had taken part in an elaborate drug cheating programme that reached its zenith at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Richard McLaren, whose reports into Russian doping provided much of the basis for Tuesday's decision, told CNN that the scandal was a "sad commentary on sport", but added that he was pleased his work had been confirmed by the IOC.
The Russian Olympic Committee is suspended and can not send a team to the Pyeongchang Olympics.
The South Korean sports ministry urged Russian athletes to compete as neutrals following IOC's unprecedented ban, saying in a statement it had "worked hard over the past seven years to make meticulous preparations" for a peaceful and harmonious Games.
Pro-Kremlin media focused on discrediting Grigory Rodchenkov, the whistleblower who gave evidence of a state-controlled doping programme in which he played a central role.
Mr. Peskov said it would be wrong to jump to conclusions until Russia's athletes had met and the International Olympic Committee had been contacted.
Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, writing on his Telegram social networking page, warned that "not one athlete living in Chechnya will participate under a neutral flag". The absence of athletes from Russian Federation - a winter sports powerhouse - would represent a major blow to host South Korea, already battling under the shadow of North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.
But IOC President Thomas Bach said, "An Olympic boycott has never achieved anything". "But I don't think anything will change".
"The sanction against Mutko is very strong (given that he was) not just sports minister but is now deputy prime minister and number three in the government", said Clastres. We have to change our world outlook.
It has so far handed out lifetime bans to 25 Russian competitors since the start of November and stripped 11 medals, which means Russia has dropped from first in the Sochi medal table, to fourth behind Norway, Canada and the US.
Bach said he hoped those attending would "represent a new generation of clean Russian athletes in the Games and build a bridge into a clean future of Russian sport".
Then, on Monday, the United States began military drills with South Korea that were to include simulated strikes on the North's nuclear and missile sites, leading Pyongyang to accuse Washington of pushing the peninsula "to the brink of nuclear war".
His lawyer, Jim Walden, told reporters Tuesday, "Today's decision sends a powerful message that the International Olympic Committee has joined the world community in saying that Russia's cheating needs to be severely sanctioned".
Nations in the past have been banned from previous Olympics, most notably South Africa during the years it enforced its racially discriminatory apartheid system of government. In effect, the athletes will compete for their country, not for the regime that failed them by being unable to root out a doping conspiracy.
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