International Olympic Committee bans Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympics

Russia’s team have been banned by the International Olympic Committee from competing at next year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang because of ‘systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system’.

But Russian athletes who can prove they are clean would be allowed to compete in South Korea under a neutral flag.

It follows an investigation into allegations of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Games hosted by Russia in Sochi.

The decision has been widely condemned in Russia, with some politicians urging a boycott of the Games, though other officials have welcomed the chance for ‘clean’ athletes to take part.

Vitaly Mutko, president of the Russian Football Union, has been given a lifetime Olympic ban

IOC president Thomas Bach and his board – who made the announcement in Lausanne on Tuesday – came to the decision after reading through the findings and recommendations of a 17-month investigation headed up by the former president of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid.

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has been suspended but the IOC said it will invite Russian clean athletes to compete in February under the name ‘Olympic Athlete from Russia’ (OAR). STORY BY BBC SPORTS