IOC returns Russia's Olympic membership after negative doping tests

By Sara Shayanian  |  Feb. 28, 2018 at 12:50 PM
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Feb. 28 (UPI) -- The International Olympic Committee reinstated Russia's membership on Wednesday, after the conclusion of the Winter Games in Pyeongchang.

"Today, we received a letter from the IOC on the reinstatement," Alexander Zhukov, Russian Olympic Committee president, said Wednesday. "The ROC's reinstatement comes as the examination of doping tests from the Pyeongchang Olympics has ended.

"The IOC may confirm that the other results [of examination of Russian athletes' doping samples] are negative," he added. "This means that the ROC's rights have been fully reinstated."

The IOC released a statement notifying that all remaining test results from the Olympic Athlete from Russia delegation were negative.

"Therefore ... the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee is automatically lifted with immediate effect," the Olympic body said.

The IOC in December banned the Russian Olympic team from the South Korea Olympics over the doping scandal.

Because of the ban, qualifying Russian athletes were forced to compete neutrally under the name "Olympic Athletes from Russia" and, if any of the athletes won a gold medal, the Olympic anthem played instead of the Russian anthem.

"I would like to thank our athletes who were able to perform well even despite the provocations," Zhukov said. "I thank the fans who did not cross the line and what could result in sanctions. Today's IOC decision is very important for us. The ROC is an absolutely full-fledged member of the Olympic family."

During the Pyeongchang Winter Games, Olympic officials found two Russian athletes guilty of doping when women's bobsleigh team member Nadezhda Sergeeva and curler Alexander Krushelnitsky failed drug tests.

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