International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has defended its decisions to ban the Russian Olympic Committee from the 2018 Winter Games over doping but allow Russian athletes to compete if they can show they are clean.
In an interview with Germany's Die Welt am Sonntag newspaper, Bach dismissed criticism that it was a decision by the IOC to appease Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Responding to a question by Die Welt referring to the decision as a ‘pseudo ban,’ Bach said it was an ‘untenable theory’ heard mainly in Germany.
Allowing eligible individual Russian athletes to compete in Pyeongchang at the February 9-25 Games,under the name ‘Olympic Athletes from Russia’ (OAR) was an ‘acknowledgment of reality,’ Bach said.
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