'Icarus' Filmmakers "Applaud" IOC's Decision To Bar Russia From 2018 Olympic Games

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The International Olympic Committee banned the Russian Federation from the upcoming Winter Olympics on Tuesday but left the door open for individual Russian athletes to compete.

Russian athletes, however, would be able to take part in the Games, the IOC said, as independent competitors "under the Olympic flag". The Russian flag will not fly and its anthem will not play during the opening, closing and medal ceremonies.

Following the ruling, Russia's former Minister of Sport, Vitaly Mutko, and his then deputy minister, Yuri Nagornykh, have been banned from participating in all future Olympic Games despite their strong denial of the doping allegations.

In addition, the IOC suspended the membership of Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov.

More on this as it develops.

A broad investigation is being led by the Inquiry Commission chaired by Samuel Schmid, a former President of Switzerland.

The commission said that evidence in the McLaren report showed "failure to respect the WADA Code within the various entities under the responsibility of the Russian Ministry of Sport".

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Rodchenkov's testimony, bolstered by two other Russian whistleblowers, has been supported by a series of investigations by the World Anti-Doping Agency since late 2015.

The IOC executive board made a decision to suspend the ROC with immediate effect. The commission relied heavily on the testimony of former Moscow laboratory director Grigory Rodchenkov.

Rodchenkov, who was the subject of the Netflix documentary "Icarus" earlier this year, is living somewhere in the United States under the protection of federal authorities.

The decision was announced after top International Olympic Committee officials had met privately with Alexander Zhukov, the president of Russia's Olympic Committee; Vitaly Smirnov, Russia's former sports minister who was previous year appointed by Putin to lead a national anti-doping commission to redeem Russia's standing in global sports; and Evgenia Medvedeva, a two-time world skating champion. One Russian was cleared. It found that Russian officials had tampered with and even swapped urine samples, corrupting the testing. MORE ON THE IOC'S DECISIONAs for athletes, those who considered "clean" will qualify.

Meanwhile, Russian coaches and athletes were vehemently condemning the decision and discussing how it could be appealed. "The IOC [executive board], after following due process, has issued proportional sanctions for this systemic manipulation while protecting the clean athletes", IOC President Thomas Bach said.

Any sanctions imposed by the International Olympic Committee can also be challenged at CAS, and later at Switzerland's supreme court, which can intervene if legal process has been abused.

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