Winter Olympics: Russian President Vladimir Putin likely to skip Pyeongchang 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a ceremony to bestow state awards on military personnel who fought in Syria, at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on Dec 28, 2017.
Russian President Vladimir Putin at a ceremony to bestow state awards on military personnel who fought in Syria, at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on Dec 28, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

MOSCOW (REUTERS) - Russian President Vladimir Putin does not plan to attend the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in February, the Izvestia daily newspaper quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.

"There are no such plans for now", Izvestia cited Peskov as saying.

The International Olympic Committee banned Russia from the 2018 Winter Games due to what it called "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of doping procedures, but left the door open for Russian athletes to compete as neutrals at the Games if they can demonstrate a doping-free record.