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IOC Is Allowing Russia to Participate in the Next Olympics

IOC Is Allowing Russia to Participate in the Next Olympics

Russia's short-lived Olympic ban is no more. The International Olympic Committee recently voted for the ban to be lifted, under the condition that their athletes who competed at Pyeongchang 2018 do not incur any doping violations.

The IOC made their decision known just hours after the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Russian received a ban from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang last February as a result of a doping scandal that occurred back in 2014 at Sochi.

Technically, however, IOC's ban was not a total ban. Individual Russian athletes could still choose to compete. All they had to do was pass a screening process and demonstrated a non-violation of the doping rules. However, it came with a huge caveat; athletes who passed could not display their country's color nor bear their country's flag. Instead, they would compete as neutral, under the name "Olympic Athletes from Russia."

A total of 168 Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Of the 168, two would fail the tests. 

IOC president Thomas Bach referred to the failed tests as "very disappointing". He then added that it (pertaining to the positive tests) "prevented the IOC from considering lifting the ban for the closing ceremony." However, there is some good news, as Bach said that "there is no evidence of systemic doping" and that none of the evidence suggests that the Russian Olympic Committee had any involvement in either of the two cases.

The two athletes to receive a ban were Alexander Krushelnitsky and Nadezhda Sergeeva. The latter is a bobsledder, while the former is a mixed-curling bronze medalist who had his medal stripped by the IOC following the ban.

Ever since the ban, Russia has continuously denied the state's involvement in doping.