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MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) cannot punish athletes, who refused to return their medals after their results were annulled over doping, but has the right to ban them from participation in the next Olympic Games, lawyer of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Alexandra Brilliantova told TASS.
"The athletes who did not return their medals won at the previous Games can apply to participate in the Olympics as the Olympic Charter envisages no punishment for failure to hand over medals," Brilliantova said.
"But if these persons think about continuing their career, they should meet the IOC’s demands. This organization decides on participation in the Olympic Games," she added.
The foreign athletes, whose results of the Olympic Games had been annulled in previous years, returned their medals, she said.
The IOC stripped Russia’s team of 13 medals won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and five medals of the 2012 London Olympics after conducting retests of samples.