LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) – The International Olympic Committee says Russian athletes will be able to compete at the upcoming Pyeongchang Olympics as neutrals after the Russian Olympic Committee was suspended over evidence that the country ran an orchestrated doping program at the 2014 Sochi Games.
The IOC, which also suspended IOC member Alexander Zhukov, says some competitors will be invited to participate as an “Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)” without their national flag or anthem.
Russia could refuse the offer and boycott the games.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously said it would be humiliating for Russia to compete without national symbols.
The IOC also imposed a fine of $15 million on the Russian Olympic committee.
The IOC banned Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko for life from the Olympics for his role in the country’s doping program.