The International Olympic Committee officially lifted the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee Wednesday. The decision came after results were obtained for all doping tests conducted on Olympic Athletes from Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Russian athletes competed as neutrals this month in PyeongChang, and even though two OAR participants did record positive doping tests during the Games, that did not stop the IOC from lifting its punishment.
Read the full statement from the IOC below:
The final notification of all remaining test results from the Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) delegation has been received from the Doping-Free Sport Unit (DFSU).
The IOC can confirm that all the remaining results are negative.
Therefore, as stated in the Executive Board decision of 25th February the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee is automatically lifted with immediate effect.
Original report, from Feb. 26, 2018:
The Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations (iNADO) is speaking out against the International Olympic Committee for its plan to reinstate the Russian Olympic Committee. The ROC was banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang as punishment for the country’s state-sponsored doping program.
Many Russian athletes did compete at the Winter Games over the last two weeks under the title “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” but they wore neutral apparel and competed under the Olympic flag. OAR athletes won two gold medals, in women’s figure skating and men’s hockey, and the Olympic anthem played in both ceremonies instead of the Russian anthem.
It had been speculated that the IOC would lift the Russian ban in time for the Closing Ceremony Sunday, but the IOC chose not to after two members of the OAR team, curler Aleksandr Krushelnitckii and bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva, failed drug tests during the Games.
Now, the IOC is expected to lift the ban “within the next 48 to 72 hours,” provided there are no further positive tests — and possibly even if there are. That is according to a report from Inside the Games.
The iNADO put out a statement criticizing the IOC.
“It has taken two positive tests on Russian athletes to force the IOC’s hand when its clear intention had been to readmit the ROC before the closing of the Pyeongchang Games,” the statement said, according to Inside the Games. “The disappointing fact that this is another short-lived, negotiated deal, to be lifted promptly within the next few days, indicates the IOC’s management of this issue has gone from bad to worse.
“Clean athletes who have had their Olympic moments stolen, whether it be by missing a medal or even failing to qualify as a result of false results achieved by Russian athletes, deserve a more principled and steadfast response. Successive decisions by the IOC in this matter have demonstrated that the interests of these clean athletes have no priority.”
Inside the Games also wrote that, “The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said they ‘acknowledged’ the IOC’s decision but stopped short of supporting it.”
Read the full Inside the Games report here.