International Olympic Committee to keep doping ban on Russian Federation for Winter Olympics closing ceremony

IOC Votes to Uphold Russian Suspension

Late previous year, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the membership of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) over doping abuse allegations but allowed clean Russian athletes to participate in the 2018 Winter Games under the Olympic flag and in the neutral status of an Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR).

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".

Any Russian athletes that were allowed to attend the Korean Olympics were prohibited from competing under their country's flag or anthem.

IOC President Thomas Bach declared "the IOC executive board decided first not to lift the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee for the closing ceremony". But the picture changed with the emergence of two doping cases.

While American officials quoted in the article were unable to say whether the hackers had activated the malware, they said the cyber attack against the Games - from which Russia's team was excluded for doping - was worrisome.

Russians Alexander Krushelnitsky, a bronze medallist in mixed doubles curling, and bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeyeva were kicked out of the Pyeongchang Olympics after testing positive for banned substances.

"With your joint march you have shared your faith in a peaceful future with all of us", Bach said.

The PyeongChang Olympics have largely been a disaster for Russian Federation.

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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.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) enlisted the services of Canadian law professor and sports lawyer Dr Richard McLaren to look into the allegations.

Letting them do so would be the IOC's "worst decision", he said.

Separately, a lawyer for the Russian whistleblower who helped to blow open the Russian doping programme accused International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach of being a "drowning man" over the fate of Russia at the Olympics.

"The sanction does not need any further decision if this is the case that there are no positive results then the sanction is considered to be lifted", said Bach. "The acrimony caused by Bach's mismanagement should be his undoing".

Russia's medal hopes were reduced in part because the Russian Olympic Committee opted not to fill more than 40 open slots with other athletes when its preferred choices didn't pass IOC vetting.

"In the light of the current situation we believe that the restoration of the rights of the ROC and all Russian athletes will be the most important result of the Olympic Games ending today", the ROC said.

The opening ceremony was preceded by legal challenges as 45 Russian athletes appealed against the IOC's refusal to invite them. At the ceremony, Russian Federation marched in gray coats behind the Olympic flag, which was held by an Olympic volunteer, not an athlete. "They conveyed their congratulations", Znarok said.

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