We won't stop Russians competing: Putin

US team still planning for Olympics despite confusion

Following reports Russian President Vladimir Putin will allow the team to compete as neutral athletes, the administration of South Korea's Moon Jae-in may be moving to encourage the full participation of Russian athletes, Yonhap reported Thursday.

On December 5, the IOC Executive Board suspended the national team of Russian Federation from participation in the Olympic games to be held in South Korea's Pyeongchang.

The Olympic Charter says the Games are "competitions between athletes in individual or team events and not between countries". Anyway, we will support those who participate and we will help those who choose to stay, Medvedev commented.

Slava Malamud, a US -based contributor to the Russian language Sovetsky Sport newspaper, which is headquartered in Moscow, said the IOC ban is unlikely to change Russia's approach to Olympic competition.

Dvorkovich did hit out at the IOC, saying its actions "actions pose a manifestation of disrespect to the Olympic Games", he said.

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"This is not the time to be thinking about myself".

Russian authorities have vehemently denied any state support for doping and pledged to cooperate with worldwide sports authorities to counter the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs.

The report of the IOC's Disciplinary Commission, on which the ban is based, avoids politicised generalisations about the existence of a "state-run" doping system in Russian Federation.

Zhukov told the French news agency AFP he "apologized" to the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday for the "anti-doping violations" committed in his country in recent years.

Meanwhile, 22 Russian athletes have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the International Olympic Committee ban. The Pyeongchang organising committee said Wednesday it would prefer if Russians competed under their own flag, but accepted as "second-best" the decision to allow their participation as neutrals.

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Russian athletes will be able to compete under the Olympic flag and under the name "Olympic Athlete from Russia", but Russian uniforms, the country's flag and its anthem will all be absent - although IOC spokesman Mark Adams said on Wednesday that the flag could make a return at the closing ceremony if Russian athletes play ball during the Games.

Asked whether Russian hockey players should participate in the Games or boycott them, Ovechkin said the athletes should compete.

"The whole situation is a little bit hard", Ovechkin said.

"Their rivals will know that they are from Russia - it will simply be a slightly different interpretation", Russian IOC member Yelena Isinbayeva, a former Olympian, told Rossiya 24 news channel.

"We have not had any discussions, either internally or with our government partners, about the possibility of not taking teams to the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games", he said in a statement.

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Roughly translated, it goes: "I'd like to drink honey with your lips". Since they will not be competing under ROC auspices, their uniforms can not bear the Russian flag, and the Olympic anthem, rather than the Russian one, will be played for them if they place in the top three.

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