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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 16 August 2018

Russian athletes barred from marching under their flag

Two competitors from the Olympic Athletes from Russia group have tested positive for banned substances

Athletes from Russia will not be able to march under their flag at the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics.  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Athletes from Russia will not be able to march under their flag at the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The International Olympic Committee has upheld its ban of Russia from the Pyeongchang Olympics, denying the country the chance to march into the closing ceremony under its own flag.

The vote came Sunday just hours before the closing ceremony.

Russia was banned from these Winter Games after a massive doping scandal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but the IOC had left open the possibility of reinstatement before the start of the closing ceremony.

However, two of the more than 160 athletes competing as Olympic Athletes from Russia tested positive for banned substances, including a curler who had to forfeit his bronze medal. That's half of the four doping cases reported so far at this year's Olympics.

The positive tests come after the IOC had said Russian athletes had been "rigorously tested" months before the games – and during them.

Four gold medals are being awarded on the final day of the Games for women's curling, the four-man bobsled, men's hockey and the women's 50km cross-country mass start race.

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