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- Russia’s Olympic committee announced they are sending 169 athletes to the Pyeongchang Olympics.
- Only three countries had at least 169 athletes at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, including Russia.
- This is despite a ban on Russian athletes from the Winter Olympics due to doping violations.
- The 169 athletes have passed a specialized vetting process that cleared them of being part of the doping program and they will compete as “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”
- Among the athletes who will compete is figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva who had argued that the ban was unfair to some athletes.
Russia may have been banned from the Winter Olympics but they are still going to have one of the largest groups of athletes at the games.
The Russia’s Olympic Committee announced on Thursday that it will send 169 athletes to South Korea to compete in the games.
Only three nations had at least 169 athletes at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the United States, Canada, and Russia, which as the host nation in 2014 had 232 athletes competing.
Russia is sending the large contingency despite being banned from the Winter Olympics for manipulating the doping tests at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Russian athletes who still wanted to compete in the Olympics had to be cleared by a vetting process. The vetting included new evidence that could show if the athletes had previously attempted to “hide and modify” biological data that would have suggested steroid use.
While Russia’s group of athletes is still large, it will not include some of their top athletes. Short-track speed skater Viktor Ahn and biathlete Anton Shipulin were both excluded, as well as pairs skater Ksenia Stolbova and ice dancer Ivan Bukin. The latter two both won medals at the recent European championships.
Among the athletes who will compete is figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva. She had been critical of the IOC ban, arguing that it was unfair to clean athletes and noted that she was not even on the national team in 2014.
The athletes will not officially represent Russia at the game, but will wear Russian uniforms and will compete as “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”