Representatives of the Russian Olympic Committee announced that it has given a green light for its athletes to compete under a neutral flag at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games despite a ban on the country's national team, at a press conference in Moscow, Tuesday. «Boycott is leading to nowhere [and may result] in new sanctions, problems with the participation in the future Olympic Games. [It may... Еще cause] problems for our athletes. As practice has shown, most of the athletes, about 70 percent of them, have only one chance to compete in the Olympics in their lifetime. It would be wrong and cruel to deprive them of this opportunity. That is why; I welcome this decision [to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games under the neutral flag],» said Russian Olympic Committee Honorary President Vitali Smirnov. Last week, the IOC announced that only 'clean' athletes will be allowed to compete under the neutral «Olympic Athlete from Russia» (OAR) flag, following an investigation into alleged Russian state-sponsored doping.