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IOC decision to bar Russia from 2018 Olympics will not knock Russia out — Russian diplomat

December 06, 1:19 UTC+3

The IOC announced on Tuesday its decision to ban the Russian national team from taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games

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Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, December 6. /TASS/. Decisions made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday to bar the national Russian team from the 2018 Olympics will not knock Russia out, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday.

"One can only imagine what we have suffered from our ‘partners,’" she wrote on her Facebook account. "But they cannot knock us out. Neither by means of a world war nor by means of tearing down the Soviet Union nor by means sanctions… We always survive."

"Global forecasts did not predict Russia’s revival as a sports power: the youth was supposed to take to drinking, stadiums were supposed to become flea markets and coaches were supposed to train others’ teams," she noted. "But they did not work out, with a new generation of athletes coming to the fore" to demonstrate brilliant results.

"Russia organized really perfect Olympic Games. Sport has developed into a national idea realized in tens of thousands of children’s sports clubs and schools, state-of-the-art stadiums and in people’s striving to be physically fit," she wrote. "Is it painful? Yes, very. We are with our athletes body and soul. Will we survive. Yes."

The IOC announced on Tuesday its decision to ban the Russian national team from taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang over multiple doping abuse allegations and suspend the Russian Olympic Committee’s membership.

The IOC, however, stated that doping-free athletes from Russia could go to the 2018 Olympic Games in the status of neutral athletes.

Russia has repeatedly denied all accusation of systemic doping abuses in national sport and questioned IOC’s objectivity.

The next Olympics, which are XXIII Winter Olympic Games, will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018.

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