Russian hockey players defiantly sang the national anthem Sunday after beating Germany to claim gold, violating strict guidelines imposed by the International Olympic Committee over doping violations. Russia’s national team was banned at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, but dozens of Russians were allowed to compete as neutral athletes—without their national anthem or flag. After pulling off a 4-3 overtime win against Germany in ice hockey, however—Russia’s first ice hockey gold since 1992—Russian athletes belted out their national anthem during the medal ceremony. “We're prohibited from having the flag so we had to do something at least. We sang because we're Russian people and when you win, the anthem is played,” hockey player Bogdan Kiselevich told reporters, saying the move was “freedom of speech.” Their singing came hours after the IOC said it would not lift its ban to allow Russian athletes to march in Sunday’s Closing Ceremony with the Russian flag.
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