Russia Banned From Winter Olympics But ‘Clean’ Athletes Can Compete

Russia has vowed to staunchly "defend" the interests of its athletes as the International Olympic Committee weighs up whether to exclude the country from near year's Winter Olympics in South Korea over alleged state-sponsored doping.

(CNN) — “Clean” Russian athletes will be “invited” to take part in the Winter Olympics in South Korea next year, though they will be required to compete under the Olympic flag.

But Russia was officially barred from the PyeongChang Winter Games over allegations of systematic, state-sponsored doping between 2011 and 2015.

In allowing clean athletes to compete, the International Olympic Committee said Tuesday they would do so under the name “Olympic Athlete from Russia” (OAR). These competitors will wear a uniform with that name on it and the Olympic anthem will be played at any ceremonies.

The invitation list will be decided upon by a panel led by the Chair of the Independent Testing Authority (ITA), Velerie Fourneyron, but it will be the IOC who ultimately decides who gets to compete in PyeongChang.

Russia’s Olympic Committee has been ordered to reimburse the IOC’s costs of investigating the doping scandal and it must also pay $15 million.

Vitaly Mutko, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and former Minister of Sport, has been barred from attending any future Olympic Games.