Kazakhstan will participate in Winter Olympics 2018 despite IOC's banning Russian Federation

Kazakhstan will participate in Winter Olympics 2018 despite IOC's banning Russian Federation

The IOC, however, plans to invite individual Russians to compete under the Olympic flag.

Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) president Alexander Zhukov has been suspended as an IOC member, while former CEO of the Sochi 2014 organising committee Dmitry Chernyshenko was been withdrawn from the Beijing 2022 coordination commission.

Russian athletes who can prove their innocence of drug cheating will be permitted to compete in Pyeongchang under the designation of an "Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)". We have zero tolerance to doping, therefore the road to the Olympics is open for the "clean" sports people.

The ban is part of "an effort to force Russia out of major sport" using "unfounded accusations", Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters in Moscow.

The International Olympic Committee issued such punishment for systematic doping in previous Olympic Games.

On Tuesday, Ilya Kovalchuk emphatically said Russians should still participate, and Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that the government will allow Russians to compete as neutral athletes.

Putin said the ban looked like "an absolutely staged and politically motivated decision".

Addressing the strained relations and their impact on the Olympics, Ms. Haley said the Trump administration would try to "find out the best way" to protect American athletes participating in the Games.

The country plans to host an Olympic summit with athletes, coaches and officials on December 12 to decide whether to accept the places available.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday declined to say whether officials involved in organising the Sochi Games, which Russian Federation hosted in 2014, would be punished.

The Games have also been hit by the decision by North America's National Hockey League not to allow its athletes to attend, and lukewarm interest in South Korea.

Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters it's too soon to discuss the fate of Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who was banned by the International Olympic Committee from all future Olympics after being implicated in the doping scandal as sports minister during the Sochi Games.