Russians can compete at Olympics, but without flag — IOC

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The IOC says some competitors will be invited to participate as an "Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)" without their national flag or anthem.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously said it would be humiliating for Russia to compete without national symbols.

The decision was announced after top International Olympic Committee officials had met privately with Alexander Zhukov, the president of Russia's Olympic Committee; Vitaly Smirnov, Russia's former sports minister who was a year ago appointed by Putin to lead a national anti-doping commission to redeem Russia's standing in global sports; and Evgenia Medvedeva, a two-time world skating champion.

Those athletes who do go to the Games, which start on February 9, will participate under the name "Olympic Athlete from Russian Federation".

The report also addressed in particular the manipulation at the anti-doping laboratory at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 which targeted the Olympic Games directly, IOC reports.

In an embarrassment for Russia's hosting of the 2018 World Cup, the International Olympic Committee also banned Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko from the Olympics for life.

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It can only consider athletes who have qualified according to the qualification standards of their respective sport.

The IOC also heard from a large Russian delegation, led by the former KGB agent Vitaly Smirnov - a long-time IOC member and a major sports administrator dating back to the Soviet era - as well as the brilliant 18-year-old skater Evgenia Medvedeva, the double-world champion who has not been beaten for two years.

Russian Federation has been banned from next year's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and ordered to pay $15m by the International Olympic Committee as a punishment for operating a massive state-sponsored doping programme during London 2012 and the Winter Games staged by Russian Federation in Sochi two years' later. The two also made a statement applauding the IOC's decision.

Speaking at a press conference after the decision was announced, Schmid said that his commission had not found any evidence that the Kremlin was aware of the doping cover-up, but the International Olympic Committee banned Russia's former sports minister and current head of Russia's national soccer association, Vitaly Mutko, for life from the Olympics, along with his former deputy, Yuri Nagornykh.

Bach and his board have come to their decision after reading through the findings and recommendations of a 17-month investigation headed by the former president of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid.

Rodchenkov's testimony, in concert with evidence unearthed and backed by forensic analysis in a World Anti-Doping Agency investigation, refute efforts by Russian government officials to distance themselves and portray Rodchenkov as a rogue actor, ESPN reported. By Monday, 25 Russians had been disqualified from the Sochi Games and banned from the Olympics for life, and 11 medals were stripped.