Hundreds of doping samples collected from Russian athletes ahead of Winter Olympics

Artwork promoting Pyeongchang 2018 was also installed at Copacabana Beach during Rio 2016

"At the same time, Russian Federation upholds the Olympic values", he added.

The investigation said the cheating peaked at the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, where Russian secret agents engineered an elaborate system of state-backed doping.

"There are two options", Putin said.

"At various times, I spoke to Alexander Kravtsov about the use of performance-enhancing drugs generally, and about the Sochi plan in particular", Rodchenkov said, adding that Kravtsov's personal driver had at times transported agents of the Federal Security Service to Russia's national anti-doping laboratory ahead of the games, to help study and surreptitiously break into the supposedly tamper-proof glass bottles used to collect urine at global sports events.

There is great pressure on the IOC's executive board to do so, as most anti-doping officials and many prominent national Olympic committees were highly critical of the IOC's decision a year ago not to ban the entire Russian team from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Last December, Canadian law professor Richard McLaren released the second part of his inquiry into Russian doping, conducted for the World Anti-Doping Agency, which concluded that more than 1,000 Russian athletes across at least 30 sports, including both summer and winter events, had been involved in "an institutional conspiracy" of doping that dated from at least 2011.

The IOC's executive board will meet Tuesday in Switzerland to decide on Russia's future and this includes its participation in February's Winter Games in South Korea.

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Instead, athletes from the country will compete under a neutral flag. That would mean they would not be allowed to wear Russian colors or national symbols and when they win a medal the Olympic flag and anthem would be used during the medal ceremony. Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the doping charges against Russia "a risky return to this policy of letting politics interfere with sport". "We thought we got past all that in the 1980s and you know using it as.political leverage is something that is generally frowned upon in sport now because it does punish athletes".

"Even if there is a blanket ban [on all sports] the individual athletes.could apply to compete as independent athletes", Barker says. "So that might be the compromise for those sports that are untainted".

Emphasising how central the sport of biathlon was in the nation's cheating, Rodchenkov said that Nagornykh had asked him to incriminate a Ukrainian athlete, Vita Semerenko, during a competition in Moscow leading up to the Olympics.

Based on the outcome of the commissions' investigations, the International Olympic Committee is set to decide during its Executive Board's December 5 session on whether the Russian national team would be given the green light to take part in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. "And this sort of status has been available to them since the early [1990s]". But I couldn't do with an innocent athlete.

"As before, we disagree with numerous decisions taken towards our athletes - including by WADA".

"They'll be called Russian athletes and not some kind of neutrals. that's very important", Zhukov said.

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