Russian fans can fly the flag at Olympics, but no protests

Russian fans can fly the flag at Olympics, but no protests
Russian speed skaters and pose for a photo with Russian outfit company Zasport designer Anastasia Zadorina, center, pose for a photo in the red-and-white and grey-and-white tracksuits, as well as grey coats are modified from the original designs drawn up for Team Russia as potential Olympians. in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. As a punishment in fallout from the Sochi scandal, Russia has been denied using its flag and badges which are replaced with IOC-approved symbols. Instead of the Russian Olympic Committee logo, there's now a white circle on the chest with the red inscription "Olympic Athlete from Russia." (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

MOSCOW (AP) — The International Olympic Committee says Russian fans will be allowed to fly their flag at next month’s Pyeongchang Games, but organized protests could bring further sanctions.

Russia has been banned from the games but some of the country’s athletes will be allowed to compete in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag.

The IOC says its ban on athletes wearing the Russian tricolor doesn’t apply to fans, saying this “cannot be prohibited.”

However, the IOC adds that “should this appear to be an organized political demonstration the IOC will take this into consideration in its monitoring system.”

That could mean Russia won’t get to march with its flag at the closing ceremony, which the IOC has offered as an incentive for the country to comply with its rulings.