Russians Fear Doping Has Sunk Their Bid To Fly Flag At Games

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"A doping test by the pilot of the Russian team Nadezhda Sergeyeva on 18 February gave a positive result for a heart medicine that is on the banned list", the federation said in a statement, adding that a previous test on February 13 was negative. This came after the IOC suspended the Russian Olympic Committee late a year ago over evidence of state-sponsored doping, as outlined in a World Anti-Doping Agency-commissioned report.

Sergeyeva, who finished 12th in the two-woman bobsleigh, "is excluded from the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018", the court said in a statement.

If the suspension is not lifted, the athletes will march behind the Olympic flag and in neutral uniforms, as they did for the opening ceremony.

Saturday's announcement comes after Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky agreed to hand back his mixed-team bronze medal after testing positive for meldonium, which can aid in endurance. The athlete recognized the violation and refused from opening of the B probe.

Before Sergeeva's case, sources told Reuters the IOC was edging closer to restoring Russia's Olympic status.

Alexander Krushelnitsky and his wife Anastasia were stripped of their bronze medals
Alexander Krushelnitsky and his wife Anastasia were stripped of their bronze medals

Competing under the OAR banner means the athletes must hear the Olympic anthem rather than the Russian anthem if they win a gold, and may be unable to carry the Russian flag at the closing ceremony this weekend.

Pozdnyakov said he had apologised to the International Olympic Committee for the Russian's two doping violations but said they did not have a systematic character. In this games, only those Russian athletes who went through the check-up of the International Olympic Committee could compete.

The Russian Bobsled Federation on Friday confirmed that Sergeeva, a member of for the Russian women's team in Pyeongchang, had tested positive for a banned heart medication.

The 30-year-old bobsledder has denied taking the drug, with the Russian bobsled president announcing, "She confirms she took no such medication and the team confirms she was not issued any medication".

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