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Russian Federation was banned from February's Games in Pyeongchang earlier this week by the International Olympic Committee for state-sponsored doping, but individual athletes who can prove they have not cheated could compete under the Olympic flag.

Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov said competitions should be organized for Russian athletes who decide not to compete at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, R-Sport news agency reported on Friday.

"We're of the stance that the Olympic Games must be clean and contested under the principle of fair play", Lee said in an interview at Incheon International Airport, moments after arriving home from the IOC's Executive Board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, where the ban was announced.

Only Russians who are invited by an IOC-appointed panel can compete at the February 9-25 games as an "Olympic Athlete from Russia", in a neutral uniform and without their flag or anthem.

The IOC previously said it is willing to cover all costs for North Korean athletes if they participate in the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.

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The door was left open, however, for Russians to compete as neutrals as long as they satisfy conditions that show they have a doping-free background. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) proposes referring to such competitors as "Olympic Athletes from Russia", a fine but critical distinction and entirely in keeping with this wholly decent compromise.

The board is chaired by IOC President Thomas Bach, an Olympic gold medalist in fencing.

"Let us give the right at least to the winners of the 2018 Olympics to reach the summit of their dreams and see the flag of their motherland in Pyeongchang's sky".

President Vladimir Putin said this week that Russia would not prevent athletes from competing at the Games if they wanted to, damping down calls by some Russians for the country to boycott.

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