Russia Winter Olympic ban is controversial, says Russian sports minister
The decision of the International Olympic Committee to bar the Russian national team from taking part in the 2018 Olympic Games is "controversial," said Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov on Tuesday.
Russia's Sport Minister Pavel Kolobkov [Photo: VCG/ TASS/Valery Sharifulin]
"The decision is controversial...Fair competition has always remained the basis for developing sports in our country. However, it will be too early to give detailed comments before official documents regarding the results of the IOC board meeting are scrutinized," said Kolobkov.
Igor Lebedev, deputy Speaker of the lower house of the Russian parliament, said that Russia must refuse to participate in 2018 Winter Olympics as competing under a neutral flag will be a humiliation for the country.
The IOC announced on Tuesday its decision to ban the Russian national team from taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games over multiple doping abuse allegations.
However, IOC stated that doping-free athletes from Russia could still be able to compete at PyeongChang Games as neutral athletes, be in uniforms bearing the name "Olympic Athlete from Russia" under the Olympic Flag, and that the Olympic Anthem would be played in any award ceremony.