LAUSANNE, December 6. /TASS/. The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang will provide for the accommodation of Russian athletes, who decide to come and participate in the Games under the neutral status, a spokesman for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) told TASS on Wednesday.
An IOC commission, led by Samuel Schmid, established that Russia allegedly employed a system of manipulations with doping samples collected from national athletes.
Based on the commission’s findings, the IOC announced its decision on Tuesday night to suspend the Russian national team from taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang over multiple doping abuse allegations. The IOC, however, stated that doping-free athletes from Russia could go to the 2018 Olympic Games in the status of neutral athletes, or OAR status, which stands for ‘Olympic Athlete from Russia.’
In reply to a question who would be responsible for the travel and accommodation expenses, a spokesman for the IOC said in an interview with TASS that "There will be support grants from the Organizing Committee as for all other athletes and officials."
Athletes from Russia will be enjoying the same privileges living at the 2018 Olympic Village just like the rest of the national Olympic delegations, according to the IOC spokesman.
"The invited athletes will enjoy the same rights as all the other participating athletes," the spokesman said adding that volunteers from Russia would also serve helping at the 2018 Olympics.
The IOC spokesman did not specify whether Russia’s athletes would be abiding by particular IOC regulations in regard to their neutral status capacity in South Korea.
"This (issue) will be discussed together with the implementation guidelines," the IOC spokesperson added.
In July 2016, the IOC set up two separate commissions to probe doping abuse allegations in Russian sports as well as the alleged involvement of state officials in manipulations with performance enhancing drugs, particularly at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia’s Sochi.
The first of the two commissions was an Inquiry Commission, chaired by the former President of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid. The commission was looking into accusations set out in the McLaren report that alleged the existence of a supposed institutional conspiracy in Russia’s summer and winter sports, in which the country’s state officials were allegedly engaged in.
The second investigative body at the issue was a Disciplinary Commission, chaired by IOC Member Denis Oswald. This commission was tasked to address alleged doping uses and tampering of samples concerning the Russian athletes, who participated in the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.
The Denis Oswald-led commission had carried out retests of Russian athletes doping samples collected at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and, as a result, had already cancelled results of 25 athletes from their home Games.
The upcoming Olympics, which are 23rd Winter Games, will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018.