Russia Banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics

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They would compete under the title "Olympic Athletes from Russia", and they will be prevented from flying the Russian flag.

Russian Federation will send a delegation to Switzerland on Friday to discuss details such as neutral uniforms and whether athletes can wear national colours.

But Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week Russia "will not block" any Olympians from paticipating, and then the ROC on Tuesday offered its support.

PyeongChang welcomed Russia's decision on Tuesday to back its athletes who will compete at next year's Winter Olympics in South Korea as neutrals.

He did not say what form this support would take.

Earlier Russian media reports said that the country's broadcasters would not show the Winter Olympics if the Russian team was barred from participating.

The six players have been "disqualified from the events in which they participated", the International Olympic Committee said while banning them from any future Olympics.

Zhukov added that Russian Federation would also support the athletes who had decided not to compete in Pyeongchang.

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"A boycott is not a solution", Smirnov said.

Twenty-five athletes have been banned for doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, all of whom have filed appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The statement was signed not only by specialists in winter sports: two-time Olympic champion in track and field athletics Yelena Isinbayeva, Russian fencer and chairwoman of the committee for athletes at the Russian Olympic Comittee, Sofia Velikaya, three-time Olympic champion in synchronized swimming Olga Brusnikina, Olympic champion in athletics Yuri Borzakovsky and others supported the initiative.

Sitting in the front row of the Russian Olympic Committee auditorium ahead of the meeting, hockey star Ilya Kovalchuk said he would not mind competing at the Games as an "Olympic Athlete from Russia", the term the IOC uses to designate the Russians who will go to Pyeongchang.

"Patriotism and love for your country is in your heart, so no one can take it away from us".

"Thank you for having heard us, for having believed us", Kovalchuk said.

On Monday, the ROC athletes commission made a single statement on behalf of Russia's winter sports athletes, explaining they were "fully prepared" to take part in the Games under a neutral flag.

In this file photo taken on November 29, 2017, Lee Hee-beom, the top organizer for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics, speaks at a ceremony marking the 100-day countdown to the Paralympics at the Korea Paralympic Committee Icheon Training Center in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province.

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