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A Russian Olympic Committee official said..

A Russian Olympic Committee official said on Monday most Russian athletes still wanted to attend, even as neutrals.

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) will support Russian athletes who choose to compete in next year’s Winter Games in South Korea, according to a draft document seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) last week banned Russia from the Games, due to take place in Pyeongchang in February, for what it called “unprecedented systematic manipulation” of the anti-doping system. It left the door open for clean athletes to compete as neutrals.




A ROC official said on Monday most Russian athletes still wanted to attend, even as neutrals.

The Russian committee is due to formalize its position on Pyeongchang at a meeting on Tuesday attended by sporting figures including the national men’s hockey team, figure skaters, speed skaters and the presidents of winter sports federations.

President Vladimir Putin said last week that Russia would not prevent its athletes from competing, damping down calls from some for a boycott.




He also reiterated Russia’s insistence that there was no state-sponsored doping system in the country.

In the weeks leading up to the IOC ban, more than 20 Russian athletes who competed at the 2014 Sochi Games were banned for life from the Olympics for allegedly violating anti-doping rules.

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