Russian President Vladimir Putin won’t boycott the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Putin said Wednesday his government will allow Russians to compete as neutral athletes at the upcoming games in South Korea.
The International Olympic Committee has banned the Russian team from games as punishment for doping violations at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The IOC, however, plans to invite individual Russians to compete under the Olympic flag.
“Without any doubt we will not declare any kind of blockade,” Putin said in televised remarks after launching his re-election campaign at an automobile factory. “We will not block our Olympians from taking part, if any of them wish to take part as individuals.
“They have been preparing for these competitions for their whole careers, and for them it’s very important.”
A Russian boycott would have been the biggest at any Olympics since the Soviet Union and its allies missed