IOC debates Russia's Olympic fate

The Russian Olympic Committee was banned from the Olympics on December 5 because of widespread doping at the 2014 Sochi Games.

"They should walk out of here the same way they walked in, and have the whole Olympics as the punishment", American bobsledder Nick Cunningham said.

Meanwhile, a high-level delegation of North Korean officials has arrived in Pyeongchang to attend the closing ceremony. "Clean athletes continue to raise concerns and are understandably frustrated with the equivocal stance of the International Olympic Committee when it comes to the systemic doping in Russian Federation". That night, there were disruptions on the internet, broadcast systems, and the Olympics websites.

As a result, many attendees were unable to print their tickets for the ceremony, leaving empty seats.

The IOC in December announced it was banning Russian Federation from competing in Pyeongchang as punishment for a widespread, government-run doping scheme that allowed it to cheat in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

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Russia's ban will remain in place for the Pyeongchang 2018 Closing Ceremony here tonight but will be lifted automatically so long as no additional doping cases arise from tests conducted during the Winter Olympics.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment. It also would continue a pattern of such attempts, including during the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"This was hugely disappointing and, in addition to other considerations, prevented the IOC from even considering lifting the suspension for the closing ceremony", IOC President Thomas Bach said.

"We have to draw a line and look towards the future", Hoevertsz said. "It's essentially a Korean problem", the official added, "We will help the Koreans as requested".

The GRU accessed South Korean routers in January and sent out new malware on the day the Olympics started, which might have allowed them to collect intelligence or attack networks.

The ban will be lifted automatically, if there are no more positive tests, Bach said.

That unit has been highly active in information warfare against the West and was behind the NotPetya cyberattack that crippled computers in Ukraine past year.

"In light of the situation, we consider that the restoration of the rights of the ROC and all Russian athletes will be the main result of the Olympic Games that are ending today". His stand has been seen as "soft on Russia" by many who called for an outright ban.

Numerous investigations uncovered a widespread, government-run doping scheme that dated back years. Those who were admitted to the Games, though, were officially athletes without a country.

The hackers - leading a purported "false-flag" operation against South Korea's reclusive neighbor - broke into hundreds of computers using North Korean IP addresses prior to the February 9 ceremony, the Washington Post reported Saturday, citing two USA officials.

  • Santos West