(ATR) The IOC says the pending decision on whether the Olympic Athlete From Russia team is allowed to march in the closing ceremony with a Russian flag and kit will not overshadow the spectacle of the event.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams says the timing of the decision, which will be made the day before the closing ceremony by the IOC Executive Board, can’t be altered. That’s because the IOC’s OAR Implementation Group reviewing and making a recommendation to the EB has to take into account the OAR’s behavior during the PyeongChang Games in its decision.
"The end of that process is to look at the comportment of the team, the athletes throughout the Games and that can only happen towards the end of the Games," Adams said at the daily press briefing in PyeongChang.
"My view is that in no way will it affect the closing ceremony. The closing ceremony will be as spectacular and as touching as the opening ceremony."
The odds for the return of the Russian flag for the closing ceremony are looking pretty long at the moment. The Court of Arbitration for Sport has opened a case against Aleksandr Krushelnitckii after the Russian curler failed a drug test in PyeongChang.
Krushelnitckii, along with his wife, won the bronze medal in mixed curling for the OAR.
The results of the CAS hearing will certainly be a part of the review by the three-person OAR review panel chaired by IOC Executive Board member Nicole Hoevertsz.
Factoring into the decision will also be whether Russia pays the $15 million fine owed to the IOC for the strategic manipulation of the Sochi 2014 anti-doping process. It has yet to be paid.
"We’re not going to give a day by day running commentary if money has been paid or not," Adams said, adding "a recommendation will be made by the group to the IOC and that will form the decision that we take on a whole range of issues on behavior of the team and including the payment. So let’s wait for the deadline."
Tokyo, Beijing, Paris Delegations in PyeongChang
The IOC and POCOG are showing delegations from Tokyo 2020, Beijing 2022 and Paris 2024 around the PyeongChang operations this week as part of the IOC Observer Program.
The delegations attend sessions on various aspects of hosting the Games. POCOG spokesperson Nancy Park says on Monday communications was the topic. But it’s more than just that.
"We have people from future OCOGs working on our organizing committee. They are given accreditation for operations and also work with our staff so that we can transfer as much knowledge and give them as much experience as possible so that they can have a very successful games themselves," says Park.
Around the Rings spotted the Beijing delegation on Monday outside the press conference room where the IOC and POCOG hold their daily briefings. On Tuesday, IOC Media Operations head Anthony Edgar was seen giving a tour of the Main Press Center to a group from Tokyo.
Written and reported by Gerard Farekin PyeongChang
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