Olympics: Russia ban decision was 'a balance', says International Olympic Committee chief Bach

Allan Goodman
January 29, 2018

The IOC has said that Russian sports fans will be allowed to bring their national flag to events in Pyeongchang, but has also suggested that "organized political" demonstrations would bring further sanctions. "The IOC hasn't specified any reasons for my exclusion from the Olympics".

Six-time Olympic champion short track speed skater Ahn was one of a number of top Russian athletes, including Olympic biathlon champion Anton Shipulin and world champion cross country skier Sergey Ustiugov, barred from competing in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics as part of the investigation into alleged state-sponsored doping.

Kelly Clark (snowboarding) and Kikkan Randall (cross-country skiing) will become the first female five-time U.S. Olympians at the Winter Games, while Davis becomes the first U.S. speedskater to compete in five Olympics.

International Olympic Committee earlier announced it would not invite some leading Russian athletes to the Olympics, among who are short-track skater Viktor Ahn, biathlete Anton Shipulin, skier Sergei Ustyugov, speed skaters Pavel Kulizhnikov and Denis Yuskov, and figure skaters Ksenia Stolbova and Ivan Bukin.

Since then he has won three gold medals for his adoptive nation, all coming at the Sochi Olympics, adding to his three golds from the Turin 2006 Games.

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He was alluding to a Japanese government exhibit which showcaes Tokyo's claims to the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea. The summit would bring Li to Japan for the first time since he became premier in 2013.

The 2018 Winter Olympics go from February 8-25 in PyeongChang.

The athletes were invited on Saturday, 13 days before the Games starts. "Unfortunately, leading athletes were not included", Stanislav Pozdnyakov, vice-president of the Russian Olympic Committee, told a press conference.

It left the door open to athletes with no history of doping to compete as neutrals, officially known as "Olympic Athletes from Russia".

"This independent panel which put together the invitation list, the final invitation list, gives us the highest confidence that there will be only clean Russian athletes (in Pyeongchang)", Bach said.

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