Russia banned from Pyeongchang Games

first_imgRussia has been banned from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics after evidence emerged of widespread doping but some of its athletes will be allowed to compete under the tag of “Olympic Athlete of Russia”, the IOC said on Tuesday. The International Olympic Committee also decided to suspend Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) president Alexander Zhukov as an IOC member given that his membership is linked to his position as chief of the ROC who have been suspended from the Games.Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko was also banned from any future participation at the Olympic Games.The IOC told a news conference that the Schmid report confirmed “the systematic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia.”Samuel Schmid, author of the report, told journalists: “The results are not based only on (whistleblower) Grigoory Rodchenkov’s testimony. There is scientific evidence, witness statements documents and correspondence.“The facts are that in Russia there was systemic manipulation of doping and the anti-doping system … that also took place at Sochi 2014 (Winter Olympics).”The IOC’s decision comes 18 months after it had refused an outright ban of Russian athletes at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and told international sports federations to decide individually on the participation of Russians in Brazil.While all the track and field athletes bar one and the entire weightlifting team were banned from Rio, around 70 percent of Russia’s original 387-strong squad ended up taking part at those Games.Tuesday’s decision, however, looks to have taken into account growing vocal protests from other countries, major national anti-doping agencies and individual athletes who felt they had been robbed by their Russian opponents for years and had demanded a full suspension of Russia.last_img read more

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Conte says Chelsea loss to Barca was ‘unfair’

first_imgAntonio Conte insisted Barcelona’s Champions League win over Chelsea on Wednesday was unfair after his team’s valiant efforts were overshadowed by Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou.Messi scored twice and set up Ousmane Dembele for the other as the hosts won 3-0 and progressed to the quarter-finals 4-1 on aggregate.Chelsea, however, were unlucky after they were again denied by the woodwork.Willian had been robbed by the post twice in the first leg while on Wednesday a Marcos Alonso free-kick smacked off the post while Antonio Rudiger headed against the woodwork late on.“We have no regrets,” said Conte. “If you watch the game, you can see the final result is unfair.“We conceded a goal, our start was terrible. We hit the post four times, this is very strange.“I must be honest, I have to be very proud about my players, we have to continue together this way, with this will to fight, this desire to fight together.”Chelsea were the better team in the 1-1 first leg draw but in Catalonia they were dismantled by Messi, who twice fired through the legs of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to take him to 100 Champions League goals.Chelsea’s Belgian goalkeeper admitted he made mistakes but said he must take that on the chin.“For the first goal I didn’t expect Lionel Messi to shoot from that angle and I was too late in closing my legs. It was a mistake on my part,” said Courtois.“It’s annoying but I don’t think I have to hide inside. I have to come out and be a man and show you made a mistake and move on.”last_img read more

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