Host South Korea ‘respects’ Russia's Olympics ban
PyeongChang 2018 organizers dismiss concerns over Russia’s absence due to state-sponsored doping
South Korea is ready to host a successful Winter Olympics without Russia, according to PyeongChang 2018's organizers Wednesday.
After the International Olympic Committee decided to ban Russia from the Games for state-sponsored doping, a statement out of PyeongChang made clear the organizers "accept and respect" the move.
IOC President Thomas Bach condemned the scandal as "an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games".
He also expressed hope that this will "serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system".
The ban still allows for clean Russian athletes to compete under a neutral flag, yet it remains to be seen how many of them will ignore domestic pressure to boycott PyeongChang 2018.
Organizing committee chief Lee Hee-beom insisted he is not "overly worried" about a possible fall in ticket sales or television ratings, according to quotes carried by Yonhap News Agency.
But amid concerns about a lack of enthusiasm for the Games, South Korea's Justice Ministry announced last month it would permit no-visa entry for Chinese visitors in line with the Olympics.