The International Olympic Committee will lift its ban on Russia and reinstate the Russian Olympic Committee’s membership, according to Sky Sports.
The IOC had days earlier voted not to lift the ban in time for the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, preventing the Russian athletes at the game from marching under their nation’s flag.
Russia was barred from competing in the 2018 Games after reports uncovered a widespread doping program a few years earlier. A contingent of 168 individual athletes from the country competed as “Olympic Athletes of Russia,” abbreviated “OAR” during the Winter Games.
Though Russia is normally a winter sports powerhouse, OAR only won 17 medals in Pyeongchang and just two gold medals, including gold for men’s hockey.
Only individuals who had not been charged with doping were allowed to compete — and even then, two Russian athletes, a curler and a bobsledder, tested positive for banned substances while in South Korea.
As ESPN reporter T.J. Quinn pointed out, Russia was still banned from this year’s Winter Paralymic Games.
SPECIAL COVERAGE: Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics
• Adam Zielonka can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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