23:11  AMT,  December 5, 2017

IOC suspends Russian team from 2018 Winter Games

The International Olympic Committee announced Tuesday it has barred Russia's Olympic team from the upcoming Winter Games in South Korea for a systematic doping scheme.

Under the suspension, officials from the Russian ministry of sport are barred from attending the games. The IOC has also prohibited displaying the Russian flag or playing the national anthem at the opening ceremony. Led by former Swiss president Samuel Schmid, the 17-month long investigation into the state-backed doping plot resulted in Tuesday's ruling.

"The systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia, through the Disappearing Positive Methodology and during the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, as well as the various levels of administrative, legal and contractual responsibility, resulting from the failure to respect the respective obligations of the various entities involved," the IOC said in a statement.

While the most severe ruling in Olympic history, the IOC will allow some Russian athletes to compete. Any Russian athletes considered clean "to the satisfaction" of an IOC committee may petition for special permission to compete in neutral uniforms. All official records will hold that Russia won zero medals at the 2018 Winter Games.

Russian state media stated it will not broadcast the Olympics without the government team's participation.

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