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Russia unwilling to accept IOC sanctions against Sochi Olympics participants — deputy PM

The Oswald Commission has issued Olympic life bans for 31 Russian athletes so far

MOSCOW, December 13. /TASS/. Russia cannot tolerate and accept sanctions that Disciplinary Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), chaired by Denis Oswald, imposed on the Russian participants in the Sochi Olympics, Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS.

The Oswald Commission has issued Olympic life bans for 31 Russian athletes so far.

"The recent decision does not mean that we will accept the results of the Oswald Commission’s investigation, as it continues to make announcements almost every day, we cannot tolerate and accept it," Mutko stated. "We don’t see strong evidence, there are only claims by Rodchenkov and McLaren, so we will provide all the possible support to our athletes in order to protect their honor and reputation. We should stand together and understand that there are certain goals behind some decisions, which particularly aim at weakening Russia’s sports industry. Everyone should understand that and see these threats," the Russian deputy prime minister pointed out.

In July 2016, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) set up two commissions to look into the information provided by McLaren. Samuel Schmid’s commission is looking into the alleged involvement of Russia’s Sports Ministry in a possible cover-up of doping violations. The other commission, headed by Denis Oswald, is retesting doping samples taken at the 2014 Olympics. Following these investigations, on December 5, the IOC announced its decision to suspend the Russian Olympic Committee, banning the national team from participating in the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea. 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." The IOC will compile a list of athletes who will be given the right to take part in the Olympics.

The Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang will be held on February 9-25, 2018.