Over 200 Russian athletes could compete in Pyeongchang - Zhukov.


More than 200 Russian athletes could still compete in the Winter Olympics next year under a neutral flag with the backing of the country's Olympic Committee.

Russia was this month banned from the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang after the IOC Executive Board studied the findings detailed in the report of a commission led by Samuel Schmid, addressing the systematic manipulation of the anti-doping system.

The IOC stated that Russian competitors could still go for gold in South Korea if they meet "strict conditions", just as was the case for the summer Olympics in Rio last year.

Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) president Alexander Zhukov on Tuesday said the organisation would back athletes who want to take part in the Games and revealed there could be plenty of them.

"Everyone had the same opinion, we believe our athletes should go to South Korea and win medals for our country," said Zhukov.

"The bottom line is that Russian athletes expressed their willingness to participate in the Pyeongchang Games despite these very difficult conditions and the decision made by IOC which is unfair to a large extent and that is what everyone said."

He added: "It's hard to say say how many athletes will be going because the process still hasn't finished, but according to our data over 200 Russian athletes still hold the licences,

"The IOC will be the ones who determine who goes and who doesn't."