Russian President Putin won't boycott Pyeongchang Olympics

Alaskan athletes react as Olympic committee bans Russia

"It is not up to me to accept advice, since it is Alexander (Zhukov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee), who has to convene a meeting on this issue and take the responsibility", Mutko said, reports Tass news agency.

There is a clear political context in relation to WADA's decision and the measure outlined yesterday by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in favor of taking "clean" Russian athletes to the Winter Olympics in South Korea under the neutral flag of that institution.

The International Olympic Committee has excluded Russian Federation from the Games in South Korea after two investigations outlined a state-sponsored doping programme. In one case, the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) sent the allegations to its Russian counterpart, which promptly banned the athlete who made the charges.

The IOC ruled Tuesday individual Russians may still compete as an "Olympic Athlete from Russia".

It said the IOC's actions proved that "you can destroy a whole Olympic country on the basis of indirect evidence and a single witness who was under a criminal investigation and has been treated in a psychiatric hospital".

It's been called an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport, prompting the most wide-ranging punishment ever meted out to a participating nation.

In recent weeks more than two dozen Russian athletes have been banned for life from the Olympics on allegations that they used performance-enhancing drugs in the 2014 schemes which also included sample-swapping.

But a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) last year found that more than 1,000 Russian competitors in over 30 sports were involved in a conspiracy to hide positive drug tests over a period of five years.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would not prevent its athletes from competing at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics if they so desired.

"I strongly suspect the total number of tests will be 20,000 by the time we get to the Games themselves", said Richard Budgett, IOC Medical and Scientific Director.

But Sorokin insisted that decision had no impact on the World Cup.

After the 2014 Sochi Games, Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Russia's anti-doping laboratory, charged Russian Federation with systematic state-sponsored doping and a cover-up that involved the state security services.

The bans came as the result of an International Olympic Committee investigation into allegations of state-backed doping among Russian competitors and sample tampering by laboratory and security officials at Sochi.

Charges of cheating are not new to Russian athletes.

The scientist is now living under federal protection in the United States. This is the most important challenge for the International Olympic Committee and its partner organizations.

Zubkov, who carried Russia's flag at the Sochi opening ceremony, has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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