The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has ruled that Russia’s Olympic ban will be lifted if there are no more doping violations from their athletes at Pyeongchang 2018.

However, the IOC did not allow Russian athletes 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 (yesterday).

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.

When the IOC announced Russia’s ban in December, Bach said the hosts’ doping at the Sochi 2014 games “was an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport”.

Only athletes who proved they were clean were able to compete in Pyeongchang for OAR, whose team was the third largest at the games and won 17 medals, including two golds.

 

-BBC