The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Tuesday that it has suspended Russia's Olympic team from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics over allegations of doping. They'd compete under a neutral Olympic flag, not their own; the Olympic anthem would play rather than any state-sponsored music; and they'd be labeled "Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation". "The decision that Russian athletes should compete under the Olympic flag as opposed to others is a clear show of discrimination". According to The New York Times, Russian officials had threatened a boycott if they were barred from the Olympics.
The findings led the committee to strip Russia of some of its medals from the 2014 Sochi Olympics and limit some Russian athletes at the 2016 Rio Olympics - a punishment that was criticized as not severe enough.
In a press release the IOC added that the Russian Olympic Committee must "reimburse the costs incurred by the IOC on the investigations and to contribute to the establishment of the Independent Testing Authority (ITA) for the total sum of United States dollars 15 million, to build the capacity and integrity of the global anti-doping system".
The ban does offer a pathway for individual, clean Russian athletes to still participate in the upcoming Games in Pyeongchang, which start February 9.
The IOC also ordered the ROC to reimburse the costs of the IOC investigation and to contribute $15 million to the establishment of the Independent Testing Authority.
"This should draw a line under this damaging episode", the International Olympic Committee said in an announcement made by its president, Thomas Bach in Lausanne on Tuesday.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko and his deputy minister Yuri Nagornykh are banned from all future editions of the Olympics.
Figure skating coach Tatiana Tarasova looks on while meeting with the media on December 5, 2017, in Moscow, after the International Olympic Committee announced the decision to ban Russian Federation from 2018 Winter Olympics.More news: Texas A&M to announce Jimbo Fisher as new football coach
The U.S. Olympic Committee supported the IOC's decision.
The Russian authorities have vehemently denied any state involvement in doping and pledged to work with global sports bodies to curb the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs in the country.
But all eyes will be on President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday when he is scheduled to speak to his supporters during a planned event.
"An Olympic boycott has never achieved anything", IOC President Thomas Bach said at a news conference.
German broadcaster ARD airs documentary alleging systematic doping in Russian athletics.
Russian officials reacted to the decision by attacking it as unfair.
Any sanctions imposed by the International Olympic Committee can also be challenged at CAS, and later at Switzerland's supreme court, which can intervene if the legal process has been abused. Sochi 2014 President Dmitry Chernyshenko has been removed from the 2022 IOC Coordination Commission.