Olympic ban

IOC votes to lift Olympic ban in Russia

MNA Sports Desk: Russia’s Olympic ban will be lifted if there are no more doping violations from their athletes at Pyeongchang 2018, the International Olympic Committee has ruled.

However, the IOC says Russian athletes will not be allowed to parade under their own flag at the closing ceremony.

Russia was banned because of state-sponsored doping at Sochi 2014.

A team of 168 competed in South Korea as neutral Olympic athletes from Russia (OAR) but two failed drugs tests.

Alexander Krushelnitsky won bronze in the mixed curling but was stripped of his medal after being found guilty of doping while Nadezhda Sergeeva, who competed in bobsleigh, was banned on Saturday.

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

But 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.”

The decisions on Russia’s ban and the closing ceremony were carried unanimously at a meeting of the IOC, following recommendations from its executive board.

The session heard from Nicole Hoevertsz, the head of an implementation group that reported to the IOC on the OAR delegation’s “exemplary” behaviour in Pyeongchang.

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