Russia has been banned from competing at next year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and has been ordered to pay $15 million in costs by the International Olympic Committee, IOC, for its part in a state-sponsored doping programme at the Sochi Games in 2014.
But Russian athletes who can prove they are clean were thrown a lifeline by the IOC, who have decided they can compete in a uniform bearing the name “Olympic Athlete from Russia” provided they can prove they were not involved in a state-sponsored doping programme.
Russian athletes invited to compete will now compete under the Olympic flag and the Olympic Anthem will be played in any medal ceremony involving them.
Vitaly Mutko, the then Minister of Sport and now a Russian Deputy Prime Minister, has been banned from any participation in all future Olympic Games.
It follows an investigation into allegations of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Games hosted by Russia in Sochi.
There had been suggestions beforehand that such a punishment might lead to a wholesale Russian boycott of the Winter Olympics.
However, no announcement has yet been made by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, or the Russian Olympic Committee.
The IOC made the announcement on Tuesday