Winter Olympics 2018: Russia’s IOC ban lifted hours after athletes prevented from marching with flag

Olympic athletes of Russia suffered two doping violations in Pyeongchang

Jack Austin@jackaustin_1
Monday 26 February 2018 11:46
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The Russian flag was not allowed to be carried during the closing ceremony
The Russian flag was not allowed to be carried during the closing ceremony

The International Olympic Committee have voted to lift Russia’s Olympic ban if there are no more doping violations from their athletes who competed at Pyeongchang 2018.

The decision was made hours after the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter OIympics but the IOC did not allow Russian athletes to parade under their own flag.

Russia was banned from competing in Pyeongchang after state-sponsored doping at Sochi 2014. In contrast there were only two failed tests from Olympic athletes from Russia (OAR) of the 168 who competed.

Mixed-curling bronze medallist Alexander Krushelnitsky was the first to be banned, and consequently stripped of his medal, before bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva suffered a similar fate.

However, the decision to lift the ban was carried unanimously following a meeting of the IOC following recommendations from its executive board.

IOC president Thomas Bach called the failed tests “very disappointing” and admitted it “prevented the IOC from considering lifting the ban for the closing ceremony”.

Referring to the two positive tests, he added: “There is no evidence of systemic doping and no evidence of the involvement of the Russian Olympic Committee in these cases.”

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