IOC debates Russia's Olympic fate as clock ticks

Glen Mclaughlin
February 26, 2018

'However, two athletes failed doping tests here in Pyeongchang.

Russia was banned from the Pyeongchang games over what the IOC described as a state-run, systemic doping program at the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014, but 168 Russians were allowed by the IOC to compete under the OAR designation and under the Olympic flag.

The closing day of the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea's PyeongChang entered the history of the Russian Olympic ice hockey with the team of neutral athletes from Russia edging the team from Germany 4-3 in the overtime of the match for the gold medal on Sunday.

Russian Federation was banned from competing at the Winter Olympics because of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Games in Sochi. At the closing ceremony, Russians will have to parade in a grey Olympic Athletes from Russia uniform under the Olympic flag, instead of marching down under the white, blue and red tricolor as Team Russia.

However, the International Olympic Committee says Russian athletes will not be allowed to parade under their own flag at the closing ceremony. I think they have two more positive doping tests.

"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", Mr Hoevertsz said.

The vote to maintain the ban for the time being followed a recommendation from the IOC's executive board, which met Saturday and early Sunday to thrash out Russia's fate.

Finally, at the Games' closing ceremony Sunday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean General Kim Yong Chol - a man considered a "war criminal" by many in the South for his role in two deadly attacks on Southern targets - exchanged a very public handshake. "It's essentially a Korean problem", the official added, "We will help the Koreans as requested". "It is never going to be business as usual any more in the world of sport and in Russian Federation".

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Confusion reigns over how the International Olympic Committee will decide what to do with the banned Russian Olympic Committee. Some Russian athletes were allowed to compete, but only under the designation of "Olympic Athletes from Russia".

Bach claimed that he was "not aware" of the case before citing a quote by French biathlete Martin Fourcade praising Russian participation in events.

The outage ended about 15 hours after it was discovered, a member of the Pyeongchang organizing committee said, and did not impact the opening ceremony or competitions.

Nearly three months ago, IOC President Thomas Bach and the dozen members of the executive board acted alone on December 5 to ban Russian Federation.

The "Olympic Athletes from Russia" - the name they were designated as part of the IOC's sanctions - also collected six silver medals and nine bronze.

"Some athletes stayed behind later with the hope that they would be walking under the Russian flag".

Walden railed against "Russia's continued retaliation" against Rodchenkov, the former head of Moscow's anti-doping laboratory who is in hiding in fear for his life.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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