Russian doping: Six more athletes get lifetime Olympic bans over Sochi 2014

Russian doping: Six more athletes get lifetime Olympic bans over Sochi 2014

Russian Federation was last week barred from the 2018 Winter Olympics, although it has been suggested more than 200 athletes could still compete as neutrals.

The national hockey team attended the conference wearing shirts reading "Russia is in my heart", while other athletes turned up in blue uniforms designed for the Russian team to wear in Pyeongchang.

Ilya Kovalchuk, an ice hockey player for SKA Saint Petersburg, told reporters before Tuesday's announcement: "We are Russian athletes, so it's quite clear: they can take away the flag and the anthem, but they cannot take away the honor and the conscience".

But Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week Russia "will not block" any Olympians from paticipating, and then the ROC on Tuesday offered its support.

"Everyone had the same opinion, we believe our athletes should go to South Korea and win medals for our country", said ROC president Alexander Zhukov, who has been suspended as a member of the IOC.

The six players have been "disqualified from the events in which they participated", the International Olympic Committee said while banning them from any future Olympics.

Some Russians will formally be invited by the International Olympic Committee to compete as individual athletes, though the ROC will submit rosters of its preferred teams.

"I would like to underline once again that today during our meeting we heard the voices of our athletes who said they want to participate in the Olympic Games", he concluded. It said it "may partially or fully lift the suspension of the ROC from the commencement of the closing ceremony" if the Russian Olympic body and participating athletes fully respect and implement the IOC's decisions.

Individual athletes could still decide to skip the Olympics in protest, but the ROC said it has carried out a survey that didn't find any who intend to boycott.

Schmid's report confirmed "the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia" - and that it had come under the authority of the Russian sports ministry. The announcement came days after she suggested that it was "an open question" whether the U.S. would send its athletes to South Korea in view of a security threat in the wake of Pyongyang's missile launches. "They took the flag away but they can't take away our honor and our conscience".

"Of course we should go and prove [that we won't give up]", he said to RT.

"The athletes will show their love for their motherland and their patriotism through their results, through their accomplishments and medals", Velikaya said.