Russia Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says the state will never acknowledge the accusation of state-sponsored doping that prevents the Russia team from competing at the Pyeongchang Olympics because it considers it false. At the same time, the IOC intends to respect the rights of clean athletes, allowing them to participate in the upcoming games as "Olympic Athletes of Russian Federation". That said, the IOC intends to observe the rights of clean athletes: athletes who match the proposed criteria will take part in the Games in the status of Olympic athletes from Russian Federation.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday banned the Russian team from the Games after evidence emerged of an "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of doping procedures but left the door open for Russians to compete as neutrals if they demonstrate they have a doping-free background.
M - Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports of Kazakhstan Saken Musaibekov commented Thursday on the suggestion of Russian lawmaker Vitaliy Milonov addressed to Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Kyrgyzstan to give up on participation in the Winter Olympics 2018 as Russia was banned from the Games over doping.
Mutko expressed support for some Russians to compete at the Pyeongchang Games under a neutral flag, but slammed the International Olympic Committee decision as "discriminatory".
"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.
Putin said the ban looked like "an absolutely staged and politically motivated decision".
Putin has a point, to a certain degree, according to Patrick Clastres, a French researcher at the University of Lausanne.
Deputy Prime Minister added that the priority now is to support Russian athletes as to protect the "good name" and to participate in the Olympics.
"For Putin too, in a certain way, (the punishment was severe) given the strong bond between the two".
"I don't want to assess the IOC's decision made regarding me", Mutko said.
"Russia has been punished, including the government in the guise of Mutko, but there exists a way out for those athletes who have nothing to do with this".