LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The International Olympic Committee has suspended Russian NOC and created a path for clean individual athletes to compete in PyeongChang 2018 under a neutral flag.
It follows an investigation into allegations of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Games hosted by Russia in Sochi.
“This should draw a line under this damaging episode,” the IOC said.
IOC president Thomas Bach and his board – who made the announcement in Lausanne on Tuesday – came to the decision after reading through the findings and recommendations of a 17-month investigation headed up by the former president of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid.
The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has been suspended but the IOC said it will invite Russian clean athletes to compete in February under the name ‘Olympic Athlete from Russia’ (OAR). They will compete with a uniform bearing this name and under the Olympic Flag. The Olympic Anthem will be played in any ceremony.
The conclusions of the Schmid Report, on both factual and legal aspects, confirmed “the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia, through the Disappearing Positive Methodology and during the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, as well as the various levels of administrative, legal and contractual responsibility, resulting from the failure to respect the respective obligations of the various entities involved”.
Bach said: “This was an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport. This should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system.”
After discussing and approving the Schmid Report, the IOC EB took the decision to suspend the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) with immediate effect.
It has also decided not to accredit any official from the Russian Ministry of Sport for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Moreover, the then Minister of Sport, Mr Vitaly Mutko, and his then Deputy Minister, Mr. Yuri Nagornykh, will be excluded from any participation in all future Olympic Games.
Mr. Dmitry Chernyshenko, the former CEO of the Organising Committee Sochi 2014, will be withdrawn from the Coordination Commission Beijing 2022.
ROC President Alexander Zhukov will be suspended as an IOC Member, given that his membership is linked to his position as ROC President.
The ROC will also reimburse the costs incurred by the IOC on the investigations and to contribute to the establishment of the Independent Testing Authority (ITA) for the total sum of USD 15 million, to build the capacity and integrity of the global anti-doping system.
The Games in South Korea, which start on 9 February, will now be without one of the powerhouses of Olympic sport.