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IOC votes to keep Russia ban for Winter Olympics closing ceremony - but may lift suspension if no more doping cases; The IOC suspended the Russian Olympic Committee for systemic doping at the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.

Byline: Natalie Evans

The International Olympic Committee against lifting the ban of Russia at the Winter Olympic Games.

The decision means Russian athletes will not be able to march under their own flag at Sunday's closing ceremony.

But the session also voted unanimously of lifting the suspension if no further doping violations emerge for Russian athletes competing inPyeongchang.

The IOC suspended the Russian Olympic Committee for systemic doping at the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.

Why is Russia banned from the Winter Olympics 2018? All you need to know about nation's omission and OAR

But it allowed Russian athletes who could prove they were clean to compete in Pyeongchang as Olympic Athletes of Russia (OAR).

Two OAR athletes competing at the Games - curler Alexander Krushelnitsky and bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva - failed drugs tests.

The session heard a report from Nicole Hoevertsz, who headed up an implementation group detailed to report back on the behaviour of the Olympic Athletes of Russia delegation during the Games.

IOC president Thomas Bach told the session ahead of the vote: "Having received the report of the implementation group and discussed it the IOC executive board decided not to lift the suspension of the the ROC for the closing ceremony of the Games.

"The IOC would have considered lifting the suspension. However two Olympic athletes from Russia failed doping tests here in Pyeongchang. This was very disappointing and prevented the IOC from considering lifting the ban for the closing ceremony.

"The suspension of the ROC is considered to be lifted once it is confirmed that there are no additional doping violations from the members of the OAR."

Krushelnitsky was stripped of the mixedcurlingbronze he won with his wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova, after testing positive for heart drug meldonium.

Bobsleigh pilot Sergeeva, who finished 12th in the women's two-person bobsleigh with her brakewoman Anastasia Kocherzhova, was thrown out of the Games after testing positive for heart drug trimetazidine.

Bach, referring to the two Russian doping cases in Pyeongchang, added: "There is no evidence of systemic doping and no evidence of the involvement of the Russian Olympic Committee in these cases."

Hoevertsz, while presenting her implementation report, said: "I believe that we should draw a line. We have to draw a line and look towards the future. We need to bring this story to an end and look forward. It is never going to be business as usual in sport again or in Russia."



Russian athletes will not be allowed to march under their own flag

Credit: TASS

Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky was stripped of his medal after admitting to doping

Credit: TASS

Krushelnitsky tested positive for heart drug meldonium

Credit: REX/Shutterstock

Certain Russian athletes were allowed to participate

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sport,Other Sports,Athletics
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EXRU
Date:Feb 25, 2018
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