MOSCOW – Russian athletes will march under the Olympic banner instead of their national flag in the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Games, the head of the Russian delegation said on Tuesday.
Stanislav Pozdnyakov told members of the press that efforts were being made to have their country’s flag present at the closing ceremony Feb. 25.
“At the moment, our delegation comprises 168 athletes, almost all of them have already arrived,” Pozdnyakov confirmed to reporters, as quoted by state-owned Russian news agency TASS.
“Eighty members of our delegation will take part in the opening ceremony,” Pozdnyakov added.
The Russian team will not officially represent their country, as the International Olympic Committee had banned the team on Dec. 5, 2017 over allegations of widespread use of performance enhancing substances.
The delegation of athletes deemed “clean” by the IOC will instead participate as “Olympic Athletes of Russia” under the neutral Olympic flag.
During the Opening Ceremony, a volunteer member of the Russian delegation chosen by the PyeongChang organizing committee is to hold the Olympic flag.