IOC Upholds Doping Ban for Russian Athletes

The Olympic Athletes from Russia delegation parades during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on February 9, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / David J.PHILIP (Photo credit should read DAVID J.PHILIP/AFP/Getty Images)

The International Olympic Committee has upheld its ban of Russia from the Pyeongchang Olympics, denying the country the chance to march into the closing ceremony under its own flag.

The vote came Sunday just hours before the closing ceremony.

IOC president Thomas Bach said a condition for Russia’s reinstatement is no further positive drug tests at these Olympics. Two of the four athletes who tested positive in Pyeongchang were Russian, including a curler who had to return his bronze medal.

“The IOC executive board decided first not to lift the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee for the closing ceremony,” Bach said. “Therefore, no delegation of the Russian Olympic Committee will have taken part in these Olympic Winter Games.”

Despite the IOC’s vote, the Russian Olympic Committee said it expects to be reinstated “in the next few days.”

“In the light of the current situation we believe that the restoration of the rights of the ROC and all Russian athletes will be the most important result of the Olympic Games ending today,” the ROC said.

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