Winter Olympics 2018: Over 200 Russian athletes to compete at Pyeongchang, says deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko
Around 200 'clean' Russians will take part in the upcoming Winter Games, even though their country is suspended, the deputy prime minister responsible for sport, Vitaly Mutko, said on Saturday.
Moscow: Around 200 "clean" Russians will take part in the upcoming Winter Games, even though their country is suspended, the deputy prime minister responsible for sport, Vitaly Mutko, said on Saturday.
On Friday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) panel responsible for deciding which Russian athletes will be spared the ban on their country for state-sponsored doping and allowed to compete in Pyeongchang, announced it had provisionally eliminated 111 athletes from a list of 500 nominated by the Russian Olympic committee.
The remaining athletes on the list must still meet further conditions, including "pre-Games checks and reanalysis of existing samples," the panel said.
"We understand that there are athletes on this list who do not meet the new criteria," Mutko told state news agency TASS.
"We reckon the team will be made up of around 200 people."
The IOC said that it will publish a final list of Russian athletes to go to Pyeongchang before 27 January.
The Russian doping scandal led to a partial ban of the nation's athletes at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
The IOC announced last month that Russia would be banned from the February 9-25 Winter Games over its state-orchestrated doping programme, but those clean Russian athletes would be allowed to compete under an Olympic flag.
The developments come days after Russia instigated a partial mobilisation affecting up to 300,000 additional troops, at a time when Kyiv has taken back more territory in a stunning counter-offensive
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Thousands of men eligible to serve -- or fearful they could be caught up in the recruitment effort -- have booked up flights abroad and flooded Russia's land borders to avoid being sent to Ukraine
Putin this week pledged to use "all available means" to stave off any challenges as Russia moves to summarily claim more Ukrainian territory despite heavy losses on the battlefield to NATO-armed Ukrainian forces