Russia supporters attend the men's 4x10kms classic freestyle cross country relay at the Alpensia cross country ski centre during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 18, 2018 in Pyeongchang. (AFP / Odd ANDERSEN)
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The Winter Olympics are more than halfway done, and the Russians still don't have a gold medal.It's an unpleasant experience for a country which finished atop the medal standings in the games it hosted four years ago in Sochi with 13 gold medals -- though two of those have since been stripped for doping.A key reason for the team's lack of gold medals here is that the International Olympic Committee refused to invite dozens of Russian athletes, saying it couldn't be sure they hadn't been part of doping schemes.The lack of top athletes has also left Russia's team unable to field relay squads for sports such as speedskating, limiting their medal chances further.Back then, Russia won 15 medals, only three of them gold -- considered so embarrassing that former Moscow anti-doping lab director Grigory Rodchenkov said it persuaded officials to set up an intensive doping program in time for the Sochi Games.
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