Putin says Russians will be allowed to compete as neutral athletes at Olympics


Sports Pulse: USA TODAY Sports reporter Rachel Axon breaks down the IOC’s decision to ban Russia from the Winter Olympics.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland  – Russian officials will not stop athletes from competing under the Olympic flag.

Following the International Olympic Committee’s decision Tuesday to issue unprecedented sanctions on the country that include a ban from the upcoming Pyeongchang Olympics, concerns lingered as to whether Russian officials would boycott the decision.

In suspending the Russian Olympic Committee, the IOC created a way for individuals to compete as “Olympic Athletes from Russia” with uniforms with that name. Any athletes who meet the criteria regarding testing and their anti-doping history, will be reviewed by a panel before being invited by the IOC.

Those athletes will compete under the Olympic flag and hear the Olympic anthem should they win gold medals.

Russian officials had…

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