MOSCOW, January 18. /TASS/. The National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) and sports federations analyzed over 14,000 doping samples collected from over 6,000 athletes in 61 countries ahead of the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Thursday.
"As part of the work carried out by the Pre-Games Anti-Doping Taskforce, the tests, conducted between April and December 2017 by the National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) and International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (IFs), represent a 70% increase on the number of tests for winter sports athletes from exactly the same period in 2016, and reflect a collective effort to optimize the protection of clean athletes ahead of PyeongChang 2018," the IOC said in its statement.
"The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today announced that more than 14,000 doping tests have been undertaken on over 6,000 athletes from 61 countries to safeguard the upcoming Olympic Winter Games that open in PyeongChang, Republic of Korea, on 9 February 2018," the statement said.
The world’s governing Olympic body reported that athletes from Russia were subjected to doping tests within the period of November-December, 2017 twice as much as in any other country.
"With extra scrutiny on Russian athletes, November and December saw testing on double the number of athletes from Russia than any other country," according to the IOC statement.
Late last year, the IOC Disciplinary Commission ruled to cancel results of 43 Russian athletes and barred them for life from Olympics. The decision came after the findings of the IOC special commission, which was led by Denis Oswald and was tasked with the reanalysis of doping samples collected from Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.
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 final composition of the Russian delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympics will be announced before January 28 by a special IOC panel, chaired by Executive Board’s member Nicole Hoevertsz.
Following the announcement, official invitations will be forwarded to Russian athletes, who were granted the right for competing under the neutral flag at the 2018 Games.
The upcoming Olympics, which are the 23rd Winter Games, will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018.