Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Sports | By Spencer Underwood

Moscow says Russian Olympic ban created to sour pre-election mood

Moscow says Russian Olympic ban created to sour pre-election mood

A report made by a WADA investigator and presented past year before the Rio de Janeiro Olympics included the testimony of the informer Grigori Rodchenkov, who worked with the Moscow branch of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). But she says the tougher pill for her to swallow is missing out on standing on the podium at the 2008 Games because of all the additional support she would have received as an Olympic medallist.

"The Russian Olympic Committee is suspended with immediate effect", said IOC President Thomas Bach.

But in his first comments after the International Olympic Committee decision, Mr. Putin said: "We will not be announcing any kind of blockade". That is, our athletes will not be completely depersonalized, like at the International Athletics Federation, where it was forbidden to use the word "Russia", in addition, our athletes will march under the Russian flag at the closing ceremony. "We all see this, for me there is no doubt about it", he said. "This is why we say that it is too early for emotional displays, while a lot of work should be done with the International Olympic Committee to clarify all these questions", the Russian presidential spokesman said.

Canadian luge athlete Sam Edney wonders whether the playing surface was level when he missed the podium at the Sochi Olympics.

At the same time, Russian athletes deemed "clean" by an worldwide special commission will be allowed to compete under an Olympic flag as "Olympic Athlete from Russia" (OAR). "But the fate of our athletes and preserving our place in the Olympic family is more important", wrote the Sport Express daily.

A member of the Russian parliament, Valery Rashkin, has filed a lawsuit against former Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko over the row.

More news: 5.5 magnitude quake jolts North India

"We will definitely not be announcing any sort of blockades and will not be impeding the participation of our athletes if any of them made a decision to take part in the Olympics under the neutral status", Putin was quoted by the state news agency TASS.

"Can't get by without Russia", the pro-Kremlin Izvestia daily headlined its front page, stressing that "Russian Olympic athletes will defend the honour of the Motherland under any banner". "I think that the athletes have some liability there that they're not necessarily being held to, which is too bad".

Some politicians vented anger, however.

"This is politics", said Medvedev, in comments broadcast on state television. "This is sport, damn it!" he added.

Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, writing on his Telegram social networking page, warned that "not one athlete living in Chechnya will participate under a neutral flag". Christine is a Canadian weightlifter who finished fourth in 2008 and third in 2012, only to have both finishes upgraded years later - to a bronze and a gold, respectively - after her opponents were caught doping. Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously said that it would be humiliating for his country to compete without national symbols.

Rodchenkov has been living in hiding in the United States since lifting the lid on the intricate workings of a state-supported doping scheme at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Like this: