MOSCOW, January 24. /TASS/. Fans at the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang are not officially banned from using the Russian flag, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) press service said on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, Channel One reported that the fans will be barred from bringing the Russian flag in PyeongChang as the country is not taking part in the Games. The International Olympic Committee is expected to comment on this by the end of the week.
"The point on banning spectators from using the flags of states not taking part in the Games at the Olympic facilities was included in the set of guidelines for fans by the Organizing Committee of the Games in PyeongChang at the stage of preparing regulations of organizing and holding the Games. This point envisages potential restrictions for the representatives of countries or entities, which are not recognized by the international community and are not members of the international Olympic movement," the press service said.
"The ban is not related to those decisions made by the IOC Executive Board in December last year on the participation of Russian athletes and Russia's delegation in the 2018 Olympics," the statement said.
On December 5, the IOC Executive Board 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.’
The upcoming Olympics, which are the 23rd Winter Games, will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018.