MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. At least 70 athletes from Russia will participate in the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, which kick off this week in South Korea’s PyeongChang, the press service of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) announced on Monday.
"Since some of the athletes enter competitions the next day after the opening, while many have not yet arrived in PyeongChang, our delegation at the opening ceremony will consist of 70-75 people," the ROC said in a statement.
"Among the participants in the ceremony will be players of the ice hockey team, snowboarders, lugers, alpine skiers, ski jumpers, freestylers, cross-country skiers, bobsleigh and skeleton racers and speed skaters," the statement said.
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. The opening ceremony will start on Friday at 8:00 p.m. local time (11:00 a.m. GMT).