Published: Sat, December 09, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

'Flabbergasted' Games chief says no Bach visit to North Korea

'Flabbergasted' Games chief says no Bach visit to North Korea

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday banned Russian Federation from the Pyeongchang Games after evidence emerged of an "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of the anti-doping system, but left the door open for clean athletes to compete as neutrals.

Lee Hee-beom, head of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics organizing committee, told Yonhap News Agency on Friday that PyeongChang has never wavered in its commitment to running a clean Olympic Games. "We accept and respect the IOC's decision".

By banning some innocent athletes as well as guilty ones, the ban "violates the basic human rights and undermines the trust in law and justice", said the Uzbekistan-born oligarch, who is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a letter to the IOC's executive board.

"I can say only one thing if we pay, then we will pay on the grounds of a concluded deal with the IOC".

Mutko was Russia's Sports Minister during Sochi 2014 and, although the Schmid Commission found no direct link between him and the doping allegations, he was banned from the Olympics for life by the International Olympic Committee as he head of the Sports Ministry, identified as the biggest culprits in the scandal. "It's not the time to think of myself".

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Russian authorities have vehemently denied any state support for doping and have pledged to co-operate with global sports bodies to counter the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs.

The IOC is encouraging Pyongyang to join the Olympics by providing wild card berths to North Korean athletes and offering to pay all of the North's expenses if it is willing to take part in the games.

The bans came as the result of an International Olympic Committee investigation into allegations of state-backed doping among Russian competitors and sample tampering by laboratory and security officials at Sochi.

Copies of the Duma statement were sent to the IOC, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), UNESCO, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROS) and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency.

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