The International Olympic Committee has banned Russia from competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, following a vote on Tuesday.

However, it allows for individual Russian athletes "under strict conditions" to compete as an "Olympic Athlete from Russia [OAR]" without their national flag or anthem, according to a release from the IOC.

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Russia could refuse the offer to compete as neutrals and boycott the Games, which are scheduled for Feb. 9-25. Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously said it would be humiliating for Russia to compete without national symbols.

The IOC also imposed a fine of $15 million US on the Russian Olympic committee and imposed a lifetime Olympic ban on Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, the organizer of the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Tuesday's ruling from the 14-member board comes three years after allegations first surfaced of state-sponsored doping in Russia, leading to a series of reports detailing the extent of the alleged program. Russia continues to deny a state-sponsored doping program existed.

"This was an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport," IOC president Thomas Bach said in a statement. "This should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system led by WADA [the World Anti-Doping Agency]."

With files from The Associated Press Articled from the CBC RSS Syndication CBC.ca - RSS Feeds Copyright is that of their respective owners (CBC).


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