MOSCOW, December 7. /TASS/. It is yet unclear who will bear the expenses related to the participation of Russian athletes in the 2018 Olympic Games, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
"There is no decision yet," he said when asked if the state will act as a sponsor for athletes allowed to participate in the Olympics. "As the president said yesterday while expressing his view of the situation surrounding the IOC’s decision, the reason is that there are still a lot of unanswered questions." "What criteria the IOC will use to invite our athletes, how the process will go and so on," Peskov said.
He also noted that "the president made it perfectly clear that he did not support the idea to prevent the athletes who receive permissions from going to the Olympic Games, as it should be their own decision." "The president also pointed out that in the near future, an Olympic meeting will take place, where athletes will have to make a consolidated decision on this matter," the Kremlin spokesman added.
Putin's spokesman pointed to a statement made by IOC President Thomas Bach, in which he said that all the invited Russian athletes would be able to go [to the Olympics] at the IOC’s expense. "But it still needs to be clarified how all the costs will be paid," Peskov said, noting that athletes had technical staff to accompany them.
"So there are still more questions than answers and they all need to clarified. This is why we say that it is too early for emotional displays, while a lot of work should be done with the IOC to clarify all these questions," the Russian presidential spokesman said.
On December 5, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced its decision to suspend the Russian Olympic Committee, banning the national team from participating in the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang. The IOC accused Russia of systematic violations of anti-doping rules, particularly during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. 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 Russia."