International Olympic Committee Lifts Doping Ban From Russia

| March 1 , 2018 , 12:45 IST

Russia got reinstated by International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Wednesday after all the remaining tests of their athletes at Pyeongchang Winter Olympics returned negative.

Russians competed as neutrals at the Games after the IOC suspended the country’s Olympic Committee (ROC) in December, saying it had found evidence of an “unprecedented systematic manipulation” of the anti-doping system.

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This reinstatement means that the athletes can compete under the Russian flag, wear a national team uniform and their national anthem will also be played if anyone of them wins gold in any event.

Even though Russia contributed to 50% of the doping violations in 2018 Winter Games (two out of the four reported cases), IOC on Sunday claimed the country will get back its status if no more violations took places at the Games.

ROC President Alexander Zhukov claimed this decision was of utmost importance for them and the nation.

Widespread doping by Russian athletes in 2014 Sochi Games was exposed to World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) by an independent report, causing them to be banned to compete in future IOC event. In the 2018 Winter Games, 168 Russian athletes competed as part of a neutral ‘Olympic Athlete from Russia’ (OAR) team in Pyeongchang but two of them failed drug tests - medal-winning curler Alexander Krushelnitsky and bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva.

They had all been required to prove they were clean before the Games.