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Russian team at Opening ceremony of Pyeongchang Olympics | Team OAR
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/J. C. Hon

IOC upholds Russian suspension from Olympics

February 25, 2018

The IOC has upheld Russia's suspension from the Olympics due to doping. Russian athletes are competing at the games as neutral athletes and will participate in the closing ceremony under an Olympic flag.

https://p.dw.com/p/2tIGD

The International Olympic Committee on Sunday decided against lifting Russia's suspension from the Pyeongchang Winter Games because of doping.

Russia, however, will be reinstated after the Pyeongchang Games if there are no additional doping violations, said IOC President Thomas Bach.

Two Russian athletes have failed drug tests, including curler Alexander Krushelnitsky who had to give up his bronze medal.

"This was hugely disappointing and, in addition to other considerations, prevented the IOC from even considering lifting the suspension for the closing ceremony" on Sunday, Bach said.

Russia was banned from the Olympics because of allegations of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 games in Sochi.

All 168 Russian athletes competing in South Korea are doing so as neutral athletes. They cannot wear national uniforms or have their anthem played at medal ceremonies.

The IOC decision means Russian athletes will not be able to march with their national flag in the closing ceremony on Sunday.

IOC member Nicole Hoevertsz, who heads the Russia implementation group, said that although the Russian delegation met many requirements for reinstatement the two failed drug tests crossed the line.

"Despite a good collaboration from the OAR delegation to respond to these (doping) cases in a prompt and transparent way, the implementation group was convinced that these cases caused significant concern," Hoevertsz said.

Drug testing results for all Russian athletes might not be known for several days or even weeks.

cw/sms (AP, Reuters)

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