(THE GUARDIAN) — The Russian Olympic Committee has been banned from next year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and ordered to pay $15m in costs by the International Olympic Committee for its part in a state-sponsored doping programme at the Sochi Games in 2014.

However Russian athletes were thrown a lifeline by the IOC, who have decided they can compete in a uniform bearing the name “Olympic Athlete from Russia” provided they can prove they were not involved in a state-sponsored doping programme. Russian athletes invited to compete will compete under the Olympic flag and the Olympic Anthem will be played in any medal ceremony.

The IOC also decided to exclude the then minister of sport, Vitaly Mutko, and his then deputy minister, Yuri Nagornykh, from any participation in all future Olympic Games. Mutko is at present the head of the organising committee for the 2018 World Cup and on Friday rejected suggestions that there had been systematic doping.

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