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Russia faces up to its future

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 By Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet IOC's Thomas Bach at World Cup final

MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Thomas Bach, the head of the International Olympic Committee, at the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday, TASS news agency reported on Wednesday, citing the Kremlin's spokesman.

"Such a meeting is planned," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying.

The IOC said Bach would attend the World Cup final at the invitation of football's governing body FIFA.

The IOC, the global body in charge of the Olympics, banned Russia from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February as punishment for an alleged state scheme to cover up positive doping tests at the 2014 Sochi Games.

The IOC nonetheless allowed a number of Russians to compete as neutrals at its invitation. Days after the Pyeongchang Olympics, the IOC lifted the suspension against Russia.

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