MOSCOW, January 25. /TASS/. Fans cannot be banned from showing the Russian flag during the Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang, but the International Olympic Committee may regard these steps as an organized political demonstration, a spokesman for the international organization said.
"The showing of the flag of a country of a recognized NOC, even if suspended, by an individual spectator or ordinary sports fan during the Games cannot be prohibited. However, should this appear to be an organized political demonstration the IOC will take this into consideration in its monitoring system for the implementation of the IOC Executive Board Decision of the 5th December 2017," the statement said.
On Wednesday, Channel One reported that the fans would be barred from bringing the Russian flag in PyeongChang as the country is not taking part in the Games. Later the press service of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) said there is no official ban on visiting sports facilities during the Games with the Russian flag.
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.