PYEONGCHANG /South Korea/, February 8. /TASS/. Foreign athletes support Olympic athletes from Russia at the Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Secretary General of the Russian Bobsleigh Federation Sergei Parkhomenko said on Thursday.
"We have close attention from journalists. Athletes, coaches and judging panels - all support us. They understand that it is a big political game. When we came here we though we would have all the scowl, but all support us," he said, adding that Western media are too much focused on Russian athletes ahead of the beginning of the Games.
"As for bobsleigh, journalists are walking up and down the track taking pictures of everything that is going on. We feel more keen attention from Western media. But there have been no incidents," Parkhomenko noted.
On December 5, 2017, the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced its decision to suspend the entire 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.’ A total of 169 Russian athletes were invited to take part in the upcoming Games. However, one of them - speed skater Olga Graf - has refuse from going to PyeongChang.
The 23rd Winter Olympic Games will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018.