The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will decide on December 5 whether Russia will be able to participate in the Pyeongchang Winter Games.
Russia faces a suspension for all of the Olympic Games, from 9 to 25 February 2018 in South Korea, as a sanction for widespread and state-sanctioned doping at the Sochi Games in 2014.
The IOC announced Friday that a “decision regarding the participation of Russian athletes in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang will be made” by its executive committee at the opening day of the meeting of 5-6 December in Lausanne.
IOC President Thomas Bach is expected to announce the decision at a press conference at 19:30 local time.
Bach has criticized leaders who call for a total ban on the participation of Russian athletes, while other suggestions include permission for participation by some athletes who have met more stringent anti-doping criteria.
That’s what happened in August at the World Athletics Championships, when Russian athletes won medals despite the suspension of the Russian Federation by the International Association of Athletics Federations following a scandal in doping.
The IOC Board of Directors is awaiting reports from two commissions created to check the evidence detailed in the report of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) investigator Richard McLaren last year, just weeks before the Olympic Games. Rio.
A committee led by IOC member Denis Oswald accused some 30 Russian athletes of doping offenses at the Sochi Games. Samples collected during these games would have been replaced by clean urine samples in a WADA laboratory.
Six cross-country skiers, including two medalists, have already been disqualified by the Oswald Committee and banned for life from the Olympics. They plan to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
A second IOC committee is investigating whether Russian state agencies, including the Ministry of Sport and the security service, have been involved in the doping program. This commission of inquiry is headed by Samuel Schmid, a former president of Switzerland.
Russia’s case was complicated this week when WADA refused to give back its license to the Russian anti-doping agency.
The Russian authorities refuse to admit that the state conspired at the Sochi Games – a condition required by WADA.
“It is clear that unconditional recognition of the McLaren report is impossible,” Russian IOC member Alexander Zhukov said Thursday at a WADA meeting in Seoul, South Korea.
Russia blames individuals for doping and wants to see whistleblower Grigory Rodchekov – former director of the Moscow and Sochi laboratories – extradited from the United States. Rodchenkov is part of a witness protection program after fleeing to the United States. He reportedly told US media last year how the doping system worked in Sochi.