MOSCOW, February 15. /TASS/. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) extended its invitation for the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to join the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang, the IOC press service told TASS on Wednesday.
"The Russian Olympic Committee was invited last week along with the other National Olympic Committees," the IOC said in its statement addressed to TASS.
Last year, a significant number of Russian athletes were banned from taking part in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro following a report from the WADA Independent Commission and its chairman, Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren.
In particular, the whole Russian national track and field team was barred from the Rio-2016 Games, except for long jumper Daria Klishina, who had been living and training outside her country. In the further development of events, the whole national team of Russia was suspended from taking part in the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games.
According to Part Two of the report, delivered in early December in London, more than 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sports could have been involved in an alleged manipulation scheme to conceal positive doping tests.
Part Two of McLaren’s report claimed in particular that doping samples of 12 Russian medalists of 2014 Winter Games in Sochi had been tampered with. In addition, doping tests of two more Russian athletes, who won four gold medals of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, had been falsified as well.
The IOC Executive Board convened a special session last year on May 17 discussing efforts of stepping up the fight against the drugs cheats and furnish measures to protect clean athletes ahead of the Olympics in Rio. As part of its anti-doping efforts, IOC ordered reanalysis of doping samples of athletes from 2008 Olympics in Beijing and 2012 Olympics in London.
Following two rounds of re-testing, 98 Olympians were reported to test positive for banned substances - 60 from the 2008 Games and 38 from the 2012 Games. Among them were over 25 medalists from both Olympics.