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Belarus supports Russian athletes as team banned from Olympics

General Secretary of the National Olympic Committee of Belarus Georgy Katulin in an interview with RIA Novosti called the IOC's decision on the Russian Olympic Committee "unprecedentedly severe". Russia will be banned from competing under its own flag at the 2018 Olympics and "clean" athletes are allowed to partake under the neutral flag.

“This decision caused a shock, emotions overwhelm... The decision to disqualify the Russian Olympic Committee... It seems to me that the decision is unprecedented, it will in no way contribute to the removal of tension and the solution of doping problems in sport in general. The decision is unprecedentedly severe," said the Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Belarus.

Georgy Katulin spoke against the situation that "Russian athletes and coaches should line up in a certain queue, from which they will choose those who meet the criteria of some invented commission" to go to the Olympics. Katulin noted that he does not know what decision Russian athletes would take in this situation, whether to participate in the Olympics or not.

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“Evidence has not been presented, it was considered that some officials of the Ministry of Sport were convicted of illegal actions, but the punishment was spread on everyone - hundreds of athletes, the entire Olympic Committee of Russia, the largest Olympic power.” 

“[It is] the transfer of personal responsibility to everyone else and innocent people suffered, even those who did not know about any doping or violations, who believed in Olympic ideals and were preparing for competitions, and now they will not be able to walk on the opening parade of the Games under the flag of their country, in the uniform of the national team," stressed Katulin.

Belarus supports Russian athletes as team banned from Olympics