Russia says reinstated by International Olympic Committee

Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov speaks during a welcome ceremony for Russia's athletes' team members at Sheremetyevo airport, outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. Olympic gold in hockey and women's figure skating provided a prestige boost for Russia whose athletes competed at the Pyeongchang Games under a neutral flag and the title "Olympic Athletes from Russia" as part of International Olympic Committee's sanctions for a doping scheme at Sochi Olympics.(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) Russia says the IOC has reinstated the country to the Olympic movement despite two failed doping tests by its athletes at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Russia was banned from the Olympics because of a massive doping scandal at the 2014 Sochi Games.

In quotes carried by the TASS news agency, Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov said a letter had been received earlier Wednesday from the IOC announcing the nation’s reinstatement.

”I would like to thank our athletes who were able to perform well even despite the provocations,” Zhukov said. ”I thank the fans who did not cross the line and what could result in sanctions. Today’s IOC’s decision is very important for us. The ROC is an absolutely full-fledged member of the Olympic family.”

The IOC didn’t respond immediately to a request to comment.

Two of the more than 160 athletes competing as Olympic Athletes from Russia in South Korea tested positive for banned substances, including a curler who had to forfeit his bronze medal.

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