Moscow - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has lifted a ban against Russia,
Moscow officials said on Wednesday, after the country was barred from the
Pyeongchang games over state-sponsored doping.
"The rights of the
Russian Olympic Committee have been fully restored," said the president
of the Russian Olympic Committee, Alexander Zhukov.
Russia received a letter from the IOC Wednesday which confirms that no
other Olympic athletes from Russia had tested positive for doping,
following two positive Russian drug tests at this month's Winter Games
"All of the doping tests that were conducted on our athletes in the last days of the Olympics were negative," Zhukov said.
The IOC decided in a meeting Sunday that in such an event the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee would be lifted.
was banned in December from taking part in the 2018 Olympics following
revelations of widespread doping, though 168 athletes were deemed
"clean" and were cleared to go to Pyeongchang to compete under the
The time since the ban on December 5 was "probably
some of the most difficult months in the history of Russian sports and
the Olympic movement in Russia," Zhukov said, praising athletes in
particular for competing in "difficult conditions."
"For us today's decision by the IOC is very important."
are very relieved," added Russian Olympic Committee vice president
Stanislav Pozdnyakov. "A lot of what we did in the last three months of
course will not be made public" he said.
"But the main thing is
that our athletes... had the opportunity to represent... our country" in
Korea, despite the team's neutral status as "Olympic Athletes from
Two Russians, curler
Alexander Krushelnitsky and bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeyeva, were kicked
out of the Olympics after their doping tests were revealed to be
positive, with Krushelnitsky being stripped of his bronze medal.
scandal meant that the Olympic team from Russia could not use national
colours or flag for the closing ceremony in Pyeongchang as originally
Moscow blamed the two cases on "negligence rather than
malicious intent," while Krushelnitsky denied knowingly doping and some
Russian media said his food was spiked by an ex-girlfriend.
Russia's Olympic ban followed the uncovering of a doping conspiracy where tainted urine samples were switched with clean ones.
government has denied any state involvement in the plot but a top
sports official Vitaly Mutko, currently a deputy prime minister, was
suspended by the IOC for life.
Russia's reinstatement in the IOC
does not affect the suspended status of its RUSADA national anti-doping
agency with the World Anti-Doping Agency, which on Monday said the
country remains non-compliant, citing "proven systemic manipulation of
the doping control process."
WADA previously criticised the
decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport which overturned Olympic
life bans on 28 Russians accused of doping, though they still did not
compete in Pyeongchang.
"Unfortunately so far our relationship with WADA, the reinstatement of status of RUSADA, is not complete," Zhukov said.
is still a lot of work to be done which is likely to be as difficult as
the work to reinstate the Russian Olympic Committee," he said.
"But we must do this as quickly as possible to create a comprehensive system to fight doping in Russia."