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Last updateThu, 09 May 2019 12pm

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The International Olympic Committee steps up drug tests ahead of Winter Games

The International Olympic Committee says more than 14,000 anti-doping tests on more than 6,000 athletes have been conducted in the lead up to the Winter Games scheduled in Pyeongchang next month.

Russian athletes were particularly targeted, twice as much as those from any other country. The country was banned from the Winter Games in early December by the International Olympic Committee over state-sponsored doping, at the last Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014. Although Russia has been banned from the Olympics, those athletes who have never failed a drug test can compete in South Korea under strict conditions. They will be allowed to compete as neutrals but will not be permitted to wear the Russian kit, use their country's flag or hear its anthem, should they win gold.

The International Olympic Committee stresses that the sporting integrity of the Games is vital, and they are committed to working to ensure that Pyeongchang 2018 provides a level playing field for all clean athletes.

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