12/6/2017 6:35:09 PM

Putin says no Russian Olympic boycott

Putin says no Russian Olympic boycott

Moscow, Russia: President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said Russia would not prevent athletes from competing at the 2018 Winter Games under the Olympic flag, after the IOC banned the country over a doping scandal. 

"We will certainly not declare any boycott, we will not prevent our Olympians from competing, if they want to take part in a personal capacity," news agencies quoted him as saying during a speech at an automobile plant in Nizhny Novgorod, where he also announced he would run for a fourth presidential term next year.

The IOC on Tuesday banned Russia from the Olympics after evidence emerged of an "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of the anti-doping system.

The door was left open, however, for Russians to compete as an "Olympic Athlete of Russia" as long as they satisfy strict conditions that show they have a doping-free background. 

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