Russia's athletes plan to compete under a neutral flag at next year's Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, the head of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Athletes' Commission Sofya Velikaya revealed today.
The decision follows a ruling by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last week to ban the ROC from sending athletes to the event.
The IOC have accused Russia of systematic violations of anti-doping rules, particularly during the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
Importantly, however, Russian athletes who can prove they are clean are allowed to compete under a neutral flag.
There had been talk in Russia of a boycott of the Games and some media outlets, including state-television company VGTRK, have claimed they will not be broadcasting from Pyeongchang.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that he will not force Russian athletes, who wish to compete under a neutral flag, to boycott the event.
This has given the green light to Russian athletes to compete at Pyeongchang 2018 and a decision was made by athletes at today’s ROC Athletes’ Commission to compete under a neutral flag.
According to Russia's official state news agency TASS, chair of the Athletes' Commission Sofya Velikaya, an Olympic gold medallist in fencing, announced they would take part at Pyeongchang 2018.
"Everyone is preparing and hopes to perform.
"At the moment, there are no athletes who have refused to take part in the Games.
"The athletes’ position is that the majority of them want to take part in the Olympic Games.
"The athletes are well aware that there won’t be a flag and an anthem of the country, but they still represent Russia."
The ROC Athletes' Commission, however, have still sent a letter to IOC President Thomas Bach, asking him to review the their decision on Russia.
"We ask the IOC to be unbiased in regard to the athletes at the Olympics. We don’t want them to invite team members number five or six, and not the leaders," Velikaya said.
Velikaya added that the letter also calls on Bach to revise the life bans from the Olympic Games given to Russians disqualified from Sochi 2014 by an IOC Disciplinary Commission chaired by Switzerland's Denis Oswald.
"That’s because the athletes were already punished and have the right to take part in the Olympics in line with all the rules envisaged in the IOC regulations," she said.
The final decision on the Russian athletes’ participation in the Olympic Games is due due to announced at the ROC Congress, due to be held in Moscow tomorrow.