Russian Federation 'will not bar athletes' from Games

Vonn Shiffrin speak out against Russian doping

Alexis Boichard Agence Zoom Getty Images Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin pose for

"I also feel concerned for the guys, many of whom I know personally and consider them to be my friends", Putin said adding that all of them will have to make an important decision now.

"There's an open question".

Alex Ovechkin hopes the Russian hockey team participates in the 2018 Winter Olympics even though it would have to wear neutral uniforms. "I have not heard anything about that, but I do know in the talks that we have - whether it's Jerusalem or North Korea - it's about, how do we protect the United States citizens in the area?"

The most recent ballistic missile test was conducted by Pyongyang in late November.

Tensions with the USA have ratcheted up after a series of North Korean missile tests.

French Sports Minister Laura Flessel has already warned that if the crisis deepened and "our security can not be assured, the French Olympics team will stay at home". Abroad, they understand very well the importance attached in our country to high achievement sports.

It is worth mentioning, however, that concern in South Korea is far lower as similar rhetoric has been common ever since the Korean War ended with a ceasefire rather than a peace treaty in 1953.

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On December 5, the IOC chose to suspend membership of the Russian Olympic Committee, which bars the Russian national team from competing at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics under the national flag.

Bach also said Russian sports federations and athletes were expected to meet on December 12 to decide whether to compete.

In the weeks ahead of Tuesday's International Olympic Committee decision, more than 20 Russian athletes who competed at the 2014 Sochi Games were banned for life from the Olympics for having allegedly violated anti-doping rules.

"If we will be able to see the excellent performance that Russian athletes demonstrated in previous winter games, that will make a huge contributions to the success of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics", the ministry said in a statement.

They will, however, have strong cases to have their lifetime Olympic bans lifted.

"The Olympic athletes show the whole world that it is possible to compete with each other while living peacefully together under one roof at the same time".

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