IOC bans Russian Olympic Committee for 2018 Games

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The targeted pre-games testing task force, jointly run by WADA, the IOC and winter and summer sports federations, advises federations and National Olympic committees to test specific athletes.

Following the ruling, Russia's former Minister of Sport, Vitaly Mutko, and his then deputy minister, Yuri Nagornykh, have been banned from participating in all future Olympic Games despite their strong denial of the doping allegations.

At the coming games, Bach said Tuesday, a special medal ceremony will reassign medals to retroactive winners from Sochi.

The IOC sanctioned the country for running a state-sponsored doping system, one which undermined the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Mutko is at present the head of the organising committee for the 2018 World Cup and on Friday rejected suggestions that there had been systematic doping. A review of the results from Russian athletes in the past few months has led to the disqualification of more than two dozen Russians from Sochi.

Not welcome in Pyeongchang next year will be any sign of the Russian Olympic Committee or any member of its sports ministry, which was responsible for what investigators concluded was a top-to-bottom scheme of "manipulation and cheating" to ensure Russians could dope at the Olympics on their home turf and not get caught. The IOC instead asked sports governing bodies to decide which athletes could compete. His spokesman, Dmitry S. Peskov, has said no boycott was under discussion before the announcement, however, and the news broke late in the evening in Moscow when an immediate official reaction was unlikely.

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Invitations will be decided by an International Olympic Committee panel chaired by former France Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron.

Should Russia boycott the decision, it would mark the first time it has missed the Olympics since boycotting in 1984. The delegation was led by Zhukov, who was later suspended.

"I very much regret that the International Olympic Committee made such a odd decision", Mikhail Fedotov, chairman of the Presidential Council on Human Rights, told Interfax on Tuesday.

But that appeal was rejected in light of the conclusions of Samuel Schmid, a former president of Switzerland whom the Olympic committee appointed past year to review the findings of a scathing investigation commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Investigators say Russian officials went to elaborate means to ensure a better showing - and it worked, as Russia's athletes more than doubled their medal count by winning 33 medals (13 of them gold), the most of any country.

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