PYEONGCHANG, February 5. /TASS/. Athletes from Russia going to the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea will demonstrate to their fellow athletes an example of intolerance toward doping abuse in sports, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach said on Monday.
"The invited clean Russian athletes can be ambassadors of a new generation," Bach said speaking at the opening of the 132nd IOC session in South Korea. "They can be the new role models for a change of culture in Russian sport."
"They can demonstrate to their fellow athletes that if you’re clean you are rewarded, and not punished for the rule violations of others," the IOC president stated. "Now it is up to Russia whether they want to be welcomed back to the Olympic Movement."
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.