The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) on Tuesday, meaning only invited Russian athletes will be allowed to compete and they will be considered neutral competitors. Russia has been banned from sending a team to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang next February. The IOC suspended the ROC and IOC member Alexander Zhukov, and also banned Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vilaty Mutko from the Olympics for life. The decision was reached after the IOC's 14-strong executive board received a recommendation from a disciplinary commission set up to investigate claims Russia conducted a state-sponsored doping programme that culminated at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. Mutko was the sports minister in 2014 and is the head of the organising committee of the 2018 World Cup.