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1ST LEAD Reports: Russia returns to Olympic fold as suspension lifted By Peter Spinella, dpa

Europe, Europa
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Moscow (dpa) - Russia has been reinstated as a member of the Olympic family after its suspension for doping offences was lifted, the head of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) said Wednesday.

The decision was revealed by ROC president Alexander Zhukov in comments carried by the Russian state news agency TASS.

Russian athletes competed at the recent Winter Games in Pyeongchang as neutrals after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the country in December for doping practices and the "systematic manipulation" of the anti-doping programme at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

"Today we received a letter from the IOC about the restoration [of membership]," Zhukov said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.

"The restoration of the Russian Olympic Committee was connected with the completion of checks of doping tests from the Olympics in Pyeongchang," Zhukov said.

"The IOC can confirm that all remaining results are negative," he continued. "This means that the Russian Olympic Committee has been completely restored within its rights."

Other Russian media had earlier reported the lifting of the suspension citing undisclosed sources. The IOC has not confirmed the reports.

The IOC permitted 168 Russian athletes to compete at the Pyeongchang Winter Games, which closed Sunday, under a neutral flag and without Russian symbols.

After two Russian athletes tested positive for doping at the Games in South Korea, the IOC declined to reinstate the country in time for the closing ceremony but said the ban would be lifted assuming no further Russians returned positive samples.

IOC president Thomas Bach said the two doping cases, involving mixed doubles curling bronze medallist Alexandr Krushelnitckii and bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva, "played the major role in coming to the decision in not lifting the suspension."

However, the Russian delegation in Pyeongchang insisted the pair were isolated cases and not part of the broader doping regime.

The executive board of the IOC heard a report from an implementation group, chaired by Aruba‘s Nicole Hoevertsz, in Pyeongchang which looked into all aspects of the Russian delegation‘s appearance at the Games.

It commended athletes and officials for their behaviour and adherence to the December guidelines by the IOC, and also noted that a 15-million dollar fine was paid in full by February 20.


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(22.03.2018 01:21)

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