The Kremlin will not interfere with Russian athletes participating under a neutral flag in the 2018 Olympics, said Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting with workers at GAZ car plant in Nizhny Novgorod.
According to him, the Russian authorities “themselves provided grounds” for the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ban the national team from the Olympic Games. At the same time, as Putin put it, the IOC has acted “not quite honestly” with the Russian athletes, since it applied the principle of collective responsibility, and alleged accusations of doping “have not been proven.”
On December 5, the Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee banned the Russian team from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. The IOC, on the basis of two investigations, declared it a proven fact that the Russian authorities, at the state level, organized a system of doping in sports. Russian athletes who have proven that they did not participate in this can compete under a neutral flag.
By decision of the IOC executive committee, the Russian Olympic Committee was disqualified. The former Minister of Sport, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Vitaly Mutko, is banned for life from attending the Olympics.