Russia Won’t Boycott Olympics More than Ban For Doping, Putin Says : The Two-Way : NPR

Russia Won’t Boycott Olympics Above Ban For Doping, Putin Says

Enlarge this image toggle caption Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

Russia hosted the last Wintertime Olympics, in 2014. But the country is banned from staying represented at the 2018 Games that begin in February, after the International Olympic Committee explained it identified a widespread lifestyle of Russian cheating through performance-enhancing drugs.

The ban was imposed on Tuesday; 1 day soon after, Russian President Vladimir Putin explained he wouldn’t stand in any athlete’s way if indeed they choose to contend as neutral Olympians. When it banned Russian officials from the approaching games, the IOC explained a path remained for some of Russia’s athletes to contend in the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“Without any doubt, we will not declare any blockade, we will not stop our Olympians from taking part [in the game titles], if one of these wants to be a part of a personal capacity,” Putin said in comments relayed by the Russian Olympic Committee and translated by Google Translate.

“I also think concerned for the people, many of whom I understand personally and consider them to come to be my good friends,” Putin said, in further remarks which were reported by state-work Tass media. “All of them provides to decide of some sort now.”

The Olympic ban has sparked anger and a variety of other responses in Russia – including calls for calm from the Kremlin. Press secretary Dmitry Peskov explained, “The situation is serious, and it needs thorough analysis. One should not be overly enthusiastic by emotions.”

Putin and Peskov spoke after suggestions of a boycott – and perhaps the resuscitation of a good variation of the Goodwill Games – circulated in Russia after Tuesday’s news that the IOC had suspended the Russian Olympic Committee over a good widespread and complex doping software. The IOC is buying Russia’s athletes showing they are clean of any doping. If indeed they head to Pyeongchang, they’ll contend under the Olympic flag; if indeed they get medals, their country’s anthem won’t be played.

“I’ve seen all sorts of reaction from athletes,” NPR’s Lucian Kim says from Moscow. “Some claim, ‘Yes, we’ve proved helpful so hard. We ought to definitely participate, also under a neutral flag.’ And others claim, ‘Under no conditions – it’s humiliating for our country and we are able to only compete under a good Russian flag.’ ”

Elite figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva, one of Russia’s most well-known athletes and the reigning world champion, vented the frustrations of many would-be Olympians who say they thought these were doing enough when you are “clean.”

“I cannot accept the choice that I would compete in the Olympic Games without the Russian flag as a good neutral athlete,” Medvedeva said in a declaration issued by Russia’s Olympic Committee (and translated into English by Google Translate). “I am pleased with my country; it really is a great honor for me personally to stand for it at the game titles. It gives strength and inspires me during performances.”

A hard brand has been taken by the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Provider, or VGTRK, which said Tuesday that if Team Russia isn’t competing in South Korea, it will not broadcast the 2018 Wintertime Olympics.

At the Kremlin, Peskov explained questions remain about how precisely the ban will be enacted. It might be premature, he explained, to draw conclusions before officials possess spoken to the IOC.

Peskov said that as the condition is serious, “emotions ought to be kept straight down and the decisions taken by the IOC on our country ought to be thoroughly analyzed prior to making any accusations upon this account.”

His words didn’t prevent Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova from saying Wednesday that the punishment of Russia’s Olympic software was an attempt to isolate and weaken Russia, saying its critics had resorted to “System B,” after the country hosted the Sochi Olympics.

“Throughout history, there have been so many things we had to endure from our ‘partners,’ ” Zakharova said. “But over and over, they didn’t take us down, end up being it in a world battle, with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, or sanctions … We survived, again and again.”

After talking about Russia’s “revival as a sports activities powerhouse,” the woman said, “We constantly notice that we are performing everything wrong, end up being it our way of life, culture, history, and today sports.”

The ministry issued Zakharova’s words along with a slogan that spread on social media Tuesday: “Zero Russia No Games.”

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