IOC: Russia ban remains for Pyeongchang 2018 closing ceremony

Russian ice hockey player Anna Shokhina has been suspended for two games for a kicking infraction in the Pyeongchang 2018 women’s bronze medal game

Russia's national Olympic Committee hailed Sunday's IOC vote and said it expected its suspension to be lifted "within the next few days".

The IOC "could have considered lifting the suspension given that the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) had respected the IOC's decision of December 5", IOC president Thomas Bach said.

Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky and his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova were stripped of their bronze medals in mixed doubles on Thursday after Krushelnitsky's samples tested positive for meldonium, banned in 2016 by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as a performance-enhancing drug.

The Olympic Athletes from Russia were still not allowed to use the Russian flag during the games' closing ceremonies due to the two doping incidents.

Russia's national Olympic committee were suspended in December over systemic drug-cheating that reached its apex at the Sochi 2014 Olympics.

Pound left on his own, upset that the International Olympic Committee allowed Russian athletes to participate.

Sergeeva, who failed to medal in the bobsleigh, tested positive in an out-of-competition test for the banned heart mediation trimetazidine.

"Despite a good collaboration from the OAR delegation to respond to these [doping] cases in a prompt and transparent way, the implementation group was convinced that these cases caused significant concern", Hoevertsz said.

The vote to keep Russia's ban in place for the time being followed a recommendation from the IOC's executive board, which met Saturday and early Sunday to thrash out Russia's fate.

In recent days, Russian Federation has hurt its case, as two of its athletes here have tested positive for banned substances.

"We have been through a lot so that we could blaze a trail", said Kim Eun-jung, skip of the South Korean women's curling team, which captured global renown as the "Garlic Girls" - all from a garlic-producing Korean hometown.

"We firmly believe that we have completely fulfilled the conditions.", delegation chief Stanislav Pozdnyakov told reporters after he and Medvedeva put their case to the IOC.

Senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and USA presidential adviser and first daughter Ivanka Trump sat in two rows of seats behind the Olympic rings, meant to represent a competition of peace and worldwide unity.

The Washington Post's Ellen Nakashima reported on Saturday evening that the GRU, Russia's military intelligence agency, accessed as many as 300 Olympics-related computers earlier this month, according to two USA officials. This, despite Russia's continued retaliation against the IOC's main witness, Dr Rodchenkov, and Russia's litany of further transgressions, including denial and obstruction toward the International Olympic Committee and World Anti-Doping Agency. "It is never going to be business as usual in sport again or in Russian Federation". They've been competing in South Korea under a neutral flag under the name "Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation". The IOC re-testing programme for Beijing 2008 and London 2012 uncovered numerous doping cases, many involving Russian athletes.

Chef de Mission Stanislav Pozdnyakov apologized again for the doping violations and said they were "more to do with negligence than malicious intent".



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