The Russian Olympic Committee has announced that it has electronically transferred $15m to International Olympic Committee as a part of the demand to lift the sanctions imposed on it for the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia leading up to and during Sochi 2014.
Speculations are rife as IOC is edging closer to allowing Russia’s athletes to march behind their national flag at the Winter Games closing ceremony, a move which will end the ban imposed on them three months ago.
The suspension, according to IOC, could be lifted partially or fully. Russians are currently participating in the games in neutral colours under Olympic Flag and name of the team as Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR).
The IOC Executive Board is due to decide on 24th February whether Russia’s suspension from the Olympics will be lifted or not. The decision will be based on the recommendations of an implementation group chaired by IOC Executive Board member Nicole Hoevertsz of Aruba.
“We are not excluding any options. We have not reached a final decision yet. We are reaching that moment, but the first ones to find out about that decision is the Executive Board. Just have confidence in the process, not just me, it is a whole team effort, there is a lot going on and the team is working very hard. We are looking towards the best interests of the IOC and everybody,” said Nicole while speaking to reporters at Pyeongchang.
The ROC, in a statement, said, “On December 5, 2017, the Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee established a number of criteria that are necessary to restore the Russian Olympic Committee to the IOC.”
“One of them is the payment of $15m for the development of the international anti-doping system and the coordination of interaction in this area between the IOC, Wada (World Anti-Doping Agency) and international sports federations. To date, this amount from the ROC has been paid in full.”
“Thus, all the financial requirements that were presented to the Russian Olympic Committee for the removal of the temporary suspension, have been fulfilled at the moment.”
Russian curling athlete Aleksandr Krushelnitckii was stripped of his bronze medal yesterday from the 2018 Games after admitting to a doping violation. He was tested positive form a banned substance ‘Meldonium’ which is linked to enhancing cardiovascular capacity.
Krushelnitckii, who won a bronze medal with his wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova, in the mixed doubles curling, was facing a doping procedure which was initiated on Monday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The doping infringement comes with Russia seeking to demonstrate that it is cleaning up its act following the fallout from the state-sponsored doping system, which Russian authorities still maintain did not exist at the 2014 Games in Sochi.
Meanwhile, the 15-year-old Alina Zagitova has bagged the Olympic Athletes from Russia’s (OAR) first gold medal at Pyeongchang 2018 in women’s singles figure skating title with a spectacular show. OAR’s medal tally also includes 5 silver and 9 bronze medals.
Unfortunately, the Russian teenager has received her medal at a ceremony where Russian flags and the national anthem was absent. Her compatriot Evgenia Medvedeva has bagged silver medal in the same category ending narrowly behind Alina.