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Ovechkin hopes Russian hockey team participates in Olympics

07 December 2017

Russian athletes have also responded, but focused more on what should happen with coming events than their peers who have committed the doping acts: Svetlana Zhurova, a Russian ice skating Olympic champion, said clean athletes should be allowed to compete as well as be allowed to do so under the Russian flag; Alexei Voevoda, a Russian bobsledder and Olympic champion, said athletes in the past were banned for a few years already, and that banning athletes for life is not in the spirit of sports.

Igor Lebedev, deputy Speaker of the lower house of the Russian parliament, said that Russia must refuse to participate in 2018 Winter Olympics as competing under a neutral flag will be a humiliation for the country.

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

Peskov said that while the situation is serious, "emotions should be kept down and the decisions taken by the International Olympic Committee on our country should be thoroughly analyzed before making any accusations on this account". "But the fate of our athletes and preserving our place in the Olympic family is more important", wrote the Sport Express daily.

Anchor: Russian President Vladimir Putin said he will not boycott the PyeongChang Olympics. Sport Express newspaper headlined its front page, calling the decision "unprecedented".

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"The sports Ministry has and will provide full support to all the athletes who were disqualified by the decision of the IOC", - stated in the message.

The IOC is ordering Russia's athletes to show they are clean of any doping.

Russian officials have refused to acknowledge the scope and depth of the findings about the country's Olympic teams, saying that the problems were limited to individual athletes.

Pro-Kremlin media focused on discrediting Grigory Rodchenkov, the whistle blower who gave evidence of a state- controlled doping programme in which he played a central role.

The United States Olympic Committee released a statement calling the action "strong and principled". "Grigory Rodchenkov is the ideal traitor", wrote tabloid daily Komsomolskaya Pravda. "Then punish those who are guilty", Putin said.

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The Canadian Olympic Committee told the IOC in October to impose "immediate and meaningful sanctions" on Russian Federation ahead of the 2018 Winter Games.

In addition to the 2018 ban for Russia's representation as a country, the IOC fined the Russian Olympic Committee $15 million and suspended its president, Alexander Zhukov, as an IOC member.

The ministry added that it "expects the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics to be a good opportunity to further strengthen the traditional friendly relationship between South Korea and Russia, and to meet many Russian athletes".

Russian athletes, coaches and politicians have lined up to condemn the International Olympic Committee ruling, but most say it's better to accept it and compete.

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Ovechkin hopes Russian hockey team participates in Olympics