Putin: No Russian Olympics boycott despite 'political' ban_Sports_Asia Pacific Daily

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Putin: No Russian Olympics boycott despite 'political' ban

Sports2017-12-07

Russian President Vladimir Putin won't boycott the Pyeongchang Olympics. The president said on Wednesday that Russia would allow athletes to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics under a neutral flag. The International Olympic Committee has banned the Russian team from games as punishment for doping violations at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The IOC, however, plans to invite individual Russians to compete under the Olympic flag. "Without any doubt we will not declare any kind of blockade," Putin said in televised remarks after launching his re-election campaign at an automobile factory. "We will not block our Olympians from taking part, if any of them wish to take part as individuals." Putin also said Russia still did not accept accusations that it ran a state-backed doping system around the Sochi Olympics. He called the IOC ruling "politically motivated" and unfair "collective punishment." A woman waves a Russian flag outside of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in front of the Olympic Rings in Pully near Lausanne, Dec. 5, 2017. /AP Photo Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier Wednesday cautioned against an "emotional" response to the ban. Russian officials are expected to address the ban in a meeting next Tuesday. Politicians and athletes earlier reacted with anger and disappointment to the IOC decision. The head of Russia's Olympic Committee, Alexander Zhukov, told the IOC that punishing clean athletes was "unjust and immoral". Russian media expressed regret at the decision while welcoming the possibility of some athletes participating in South Korea next year, albeit under tight restrictions. The IOC is now working on “operational guidelines” that will oversee enforcing restrictions on Russian participation in Pyeongchang. These include approving a manufacturer and a design of team uniforms, and what Russian symbols, such as national flags, fans will be allowed to use in Olympic venues. (AP) (AFP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin won't boycott the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The president said on Wednesday that Russia would allow athletes to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics under a neutral flag.

The International Olympic Committee has banned the Russian team from games as punishment for doping violations at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The IOC, however, plans to invite individual Russians to compete under the Olympic flag.

"Without any doubt we will not declare any kind of blockade," Putin said in televised remarks after launching his re-election campaign at an automobile factory. "We will not block our Olympians from taking part, if any of them wish to take part as individuals."

Putin also said Russia still did not accept accusations that it ran a state-backed doping system around the Sochi Olympics. He called the IOC ruling "politically motivated" and unfair "collective punishment."

A woman waves a Russian flag outside of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in front of the Olympic Rings in Pully near Lausanne, Dec. 5, 2017. /AP Photo

A woman waves a Russian flag outside of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in front of the Olympic Rings in Pully near Lausanne, Dec. 5, 2017. /AP Photo

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier Wednesday cautioned against an "emotional" response to the ban.

Russian officials are expected to address the ban in a meeting next Tuesday.

Politicians and athletes earlier reacted with anger and disappointment to the IOC decision.

The head of Russia's Olympic Committee, Alexander Zhukov, told the IOC that punishing clean athletes was "unjust and immoral".

Russian media expressed regret at the decision while welcoming the possibility of some athletes participating in South Korea next year, albeit under tight restrictions.

The IOC is now working on “operational guidelines” that will oversee enforcing restrictions on Russian participation in Pyeongchang. These include approving a manufacturer and a design of team uniforms, and what Russian symbols, such as national flags, fans will be allowed to use in Olympic venues.

(AP)

(AFP)

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