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

International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams attends a press conference during an IOC executive meeting

Putin won't block athletes from Olympics amid anger at ban

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. Membership the head of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov, the IOC suspended.

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)".

Vladimir Putin, fresh on the heels of the widely anticipated announcement that he'll seek a fourth term as president, said that Russian Federation won't stop its athletes from competing under a neutral flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics after the national team was banned from the Games.

Answering a question about uncertainty surrounding the participation of US athletes in the global sports event held on the Korean Peninsula, she said Washington would continue monitoring the situation in the region in order to ensure protection of its athletes.

"As an athlete myself, I'm feeling very sorry for all the clean athletes", Bach said.

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Russia's athletics federation and Paralympic Committee remain suspended from worldwide competition over doping scandals, along with its anti-doping agency, RUSADA.

Individual Russian athletes may still be able to compete in South Korea, subject to meeting strict anti-doping guidelines, and would be referred to as "Olympic Athlete (s) from Russia" at the Games. By the time athletes arrive in PyeongChang, representatives for the International Olympic Committee said they anticipate that some 20,000 tests will have been done, many of them given to Russian athletes after widespread drug use scandals at previous Games.

"I also feel concerned for the guys, many of whom I know personally and consider them to be my friends", Putin said adding that all of them will have to make an important decision now.

"Requirements for Russian athletes are being particularly emphasized by the pre-Games testing task force, because of the situation and work of the commissions", he said. The new generation of Russian athletes shouldn't be held responsible or "made to feel like outcasts" at the Olympics "without a national identity, anthem or flag", he said.

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

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