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Russian Olympic Committee opts out of opening ‘Russia House’ at 2018 Winter Games

January 26, 2018, 16:15 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The so-called Russia House was opened for the first time at the 1992 Winter Olympics and was used as a recreational area for national athletes

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© Ruslan Shamukov/TASS

MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has decided against opening its traditional ‘Russia House’ at the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang, ROC President Alexander Zhukov told TASS on Friday.

"This time the Russian Olympic Committee rejected the idea of organizing Russia House at the 2018 Winter Games," Zhukov said in an interview with TASS.

The so-called Russia House was opened for the first time at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Norway’s Lillehammer upon an initiative from then-president of the ROC Vitaly Smirnov and was used during the Games as a recreational area for national athletes.

Since then Russia House became traditional for the national team and it was opened at all editions of Winter and Summer Olympic Games between 1996 and 2010.

At the 2012 Summer Games in London, the name was changed to Russia Sochi Park as the country was preparing at that time to host its first ever Winter Olympics in 2014 in Sochi. The brand name Russia House returned again at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro.

On December 5, the IOC Executive Board announced its decision to suspend the whole Russian national team from taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang over multiple doping abuse allegations.

The IOC, however, stated that doping-free athletes from Russia might go to the 2018 Olympic Games under the classification of neutral athletes, or the OAR status, which stands for ‘Olympic Athlete from Russia.’ The IOC reserved the right to the final word in regard to Russian athletes, who will go to PyeongChang under the neutral status.

The upcoming Olympics, which are the 23rd Winter Games, will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018.

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