Following allegations it ran an extensive state-sponsored doping operation, Russia has been banned from the upcoming 2018 winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
However, the International Olympic Committee said Tuesday Russian athletes who can prove they are clean will be invited to compete under the neutral Olympic flag.
Which athletes get invited will be determined by the Independent Testing Authority a panel chaired by Valerie Fourneyron, and will include members of the IOC’s Pre-Games Testing Task Force.
Those athletes will play under the designation, “Olympic Athlete from Russia” in uniforms bearing that name. Instead of the Russian flag and national anthem, the Olympic Anthem will be played for gold-medal winners and the Olympics’ five-ring flag will be raised during the medal ceremony.
The Russian Olympic Committee and Russian government officials are not allowed to attend the games.
Additionally, the ROC must repay the costs related to the investigation into the Russian doping scandal and contribute to the establishment of the Independent Testing Authority, which totals $15 million, according to the IOC.
The IOC’s independent, extensive investigation into the doping athletes, which were uncovered more than a year ago, resulted in the toughest penalties against a country in Olympic history, according to The New York Times. Some Russian officials are threatening to boycott the games.
During the 2014 winter Olympic in Sochi, Russia allegedly tampered with urine samples from more than 100 competitors to hide evidence of their use of steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs during the games. Since the revelations surfaced, Olympic officials have been sorting through results and invalidating medals.
As a result, more than two dozen Russian athletes have been disqualified from Sochi standings.