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Diplomat mocks IOC’s Olympic ban against Team Russia as move ‘to plan B to isolate Russia’

According to the diplomat, after expectations that the Sochi Olympic Games would turn out to be a failure never panned out, "plan B" has been put into action

MOSCOW, December 6. /TASS/. The ruling by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) against the Russian national squad fits into plan B to isolate Russia because all previous attempts have failed, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

According to the diplomat, after expectations that the Sochi Olympic Games would turn out to be a failure never panned out, plan B, which we see now, has been put into action. "The attacks are carried out on many fronts. This is a large-scale offensive," Zakharova stressed. "I believe this is due to the fact that the head-on attempt to isolate Russia, which was declared as ‘the march on Russia" has flopped. Attempts to isolate Russia have collapsed, while the desire, efforts and opportunities still remain."

"We see a large-scale picture of an aggressive campaign against Russia in a number of directions," the diplomat went on to say. She recalled attempts to exert pressure on Russian mass media outlets abroad, the war on monuments in a bid to rewrite history and "erase the Soviet Union’s contribution to the Victory over Nazism", attempts to make everybody think terrorists in Syria have been routed by the US rather than by Russia. "This is utter nonsense, but we see that too," she added.

"The same thing is happening in sports," Zakharova said. "We can see unsubstantiated accusations and decisions to strip athletes of the right to take part in competitions. This is a game changer in the so-called collective responsibility, which applies to Russian athletes. All that is an attempt to elbow Russia out of global sports." She added that the doping abuse problem had existed for quite some time now, with many athletes from various countries suspended. However, never before has there been such a response from the IOC and other sports officials, Zakharova stressed.

On December 5, the IOC decided to suspend membership of the Russian Olympic Committee, which bars the Russian national team from competing at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics under the national flag. The IOC accused Russia of systematic doping violations, in particular, at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. That said, the IOC intends to observe the rights of clean athletes: athletes who match the proposed criteria will take part in the Games in the status of Olympic athletes from Russia.

The Russian leadership has repeatedly refuted allegations of systematic use of doping in domestic sports and questioned the impartiality of the IOC commission.