Russian doping: Six more athletes get lifetime Olympic bans over Sochi 2014

Should Russian athletes go to non-Olympic Games in South Korea?

Under International Olympic Committee sanctions announced last week, all Russians must compete under the Olympic flag as "Olympic Athletes from Russia".

The IOC will allow only "clean" Russian athletes not involved in doping scandals to participate in the games, it said.

The IOC said its disciplinary commission has opened 46 cases since it began reanalysing samples from Sochi - the Winter Olympics at which hosts Russian Federation employed what has been described as a "systemic manipulation" of anti-doping rules.

Channel One announced its decision Tuesday after Russia's Olympic Committee said it would support athletes who choose to compete in South Korea despite the restrictions imposed by the IOC, the RBC business portal reported.

"Today we express our readiness to take part in the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, despite the fact that, we have been put in unequal conditions with our colleagues from other countries", the text says.

"Potentially more than 200 athletes are in a position to qualify", ROC president Alexander Zhukov said after the organization held a closed congress on Tuesday.

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"The Olympic Assembly respects any decision of athletes and calls on everyone to respect the choice of each individual athlete", it said in a statement.

On Monday, a group of Russian athletes issued a statement through the ROC saying that they want to compete in South Korea, despite the troubling circumstances and the humiliation of not being able to openly represent Russia. "Sure, they've taken the flag and the anthem away, but they haven't taken our honor, conscience, patriotism, love for the country", Kovalchuk said.

The world's governing Olympic body stated that not only did it ban Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko and ex-Sports Minister Yury Nagornykh from attending all Olympic events in their official capacities, but it also yanked the membership of the ROC and its President Zhukov.

Schmid's report confirmed "the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia" - and that it had come under the authority of the Russian sports ministry.

According to the IOC, the cases are probed by the IOC Commission led by Denis Oswald and the number climbed up following the retests of doping samples collected during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

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