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International Olympic Committee lifts suspension of Russia

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV – | The headquarters of the Russian Olympic Committee, December 5, 2017

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) announced on Wednesday that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) lifted the suspension since December because of the institutionalized doping scandal in the country.

“The Russian Olympic Committee is fully reinstated as a member of the IOC,” said ROC President Alexander Zhukov, three days after the end of the Pyeongchang Olympics.

“We have received today a letter from the IOC regarding the reinstatement of our status,” he added, adding that this “reinstatement was linked to the doping tests of Russian athletes who participated in the Olympics”.

“In the letter, it is written that (beyond the two positive tests revealed during the Games, ed) all the tests were negative, and the automatic decision of our reinstatement came into force,” continued Zhukov.

The decision to suspend the CAR was taken on December 5th. It provided for the possibility of lifting the suspension on the last day of the Winter Games, in order to allow Russian athletes to run behind the Russian flag, but the IOC Executive Board rejected that possibility.

Two Olympic athletes from Russia, the denomination under which Russian athletes participated in the Olympics-2018, “were convinced of doping here in Pyeongchang.This is extremely disappointing and does not allow the IOC to consider lifting the suspension of the ROC for the closing ceremony, “said IOC President Thomas Bach while opening the door to automatic reinstatement if no additional doping cases were found after the Games.

Russia has been allowed to compete in South Korea under Olympic banner, with athletes considered “clean” by the IOC. Their delegation finished in 13th place of the medal table with two titles, against 13 gold medals in Sochi at the close of the 2014 Olympic Games (11 now).

A report by the World Anti-Doping Agency had uncovered a vast institutionalized doping system implemented in Russia, especially during the Sochi-2014 winter Olympics.

Two doping cases involving Russians were revealed during the Olympics, on a meldonium-positive curler who lost his bronze medal in the mixed event, and on a competitor who finished 12th in two-man bobsled.

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