Updated: 06/12/17 : 13:41:44
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World :: Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea

Russia has been banned from taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea due to concerns over doping.

However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said that individual "Russian clean athletes" will still be able to take part as neutral competitors at the event in Pyeongchang from 9-25 February next year.

The president of the Russian skating union has described the decision as "offensive and insulting".

Banning an entire country from the Games is an unprecedented move for the IOC.

It comes following a 17-month doping investigation which concluded that there was a "systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia".

The IOC has also banned Russian deputy prime minister and former sports minister Vitaly Mutko from the Olympic movement for life.

Mr Mutko, who continuously denied state-backed doping was occurring, is currently head of the organising committee for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

His then deputy minister, Yuri Nagornykh, has also been banned for life.

No official from the Russian Ministry of Sport will be allowed accreditation for the Pyeongchang Games, the committee ruled.

The Russian Olympic Committee has also been ordered to pay $15 million (11.2m) to the IOC for the cost of the investigation and to strengthen the global anti-doping system.

Several Russian athletes have been stripped of their medals over the past few years, paving the way for British bobsleigh racer John Jackson to be awarded a retrospective bronze medal last month for his performance at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Russia was nearly banned from the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found "beyond reasonable doubt" the Russian Ministry of Sport and its Olympic preparation team had allowed state-funded doping.

Just weeks before the Games started in Brazil, the IOC announced Russian athletes would only be eligible to compete if they could prove they had not been doping before the Games.

A total of 111 athletes were barred from competing, while 278 were cleared.

The entire Russian Paralympic team was also banned.

IOC president and former Olympic fencer Thomas Bach said: "This was an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport.