Gunilla Lindberg has claimed athletes who are snubbing the OAR are violating the Olympic spirit ©Getty Images

Gunilla Lindberg has accused competitors snubbing and deliberately avoiding members of the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) team in protest at their presence at Pyeongchang 2018 of violating the Olympic spirit.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board member told insidethegames here she was "very sad" to hear about a number of incidents which have occurred during the Games.

The decision to allow competitors from the country to compete as neutrals has not been universally popular among the athlete community.

Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold claimed she will "look at the floor" whenever she sees Russian rivals Sochi 2014 bronze medallist Elena Niktina and Maria Orlova, who were among those banned from competing here.

There have also been reports of American sliders refusing to speak to their OAR counterparts.

Matt Antoine of the United States, a bronze medallist in Sochi, told Reuters he did not believe Russians had competed fairly and therefore did not need to have a conversation with athletes on the OAR team.

An incident also flared up between Canada and the OAR in the days before last week's Opening Ceremony.

A memo was sent to all members of Canada's Olympic delegation to warn them about their conduct during Pyeongchang 2018 following a verbal exchange between one individual and a Russian athlete.

An apology was then issued by the Canadian team despite confusion over the nature of the incident.

"I think that is very sad because we know for sure that the Russian athletes here have gone through a lot of tests, re-testing and background checking," Lindberg, chair of the IOC's Coordination Commission for Pyeongchang 2018, said.

"It is not in the Olympic spirit not to talk to your fellow competitors."

Britain's Lizzy Yarnold is among those to have threatened to snub members of the OAR team ©Getty Images
Britain's Lizzy Yarnold is among those to have threatened to snub members of the OAR team ©Getty Images

Asked whether she could understand some of the frustrations from athletes, she added: "No, not really.

"As an athlete with somebody who is not clean, that is the worst that can happen to you.

"But I hope with the actions we have taken and the measures to bring the athletes here show that we have not punished clean athletes."

Russians are being made to compete under the OAR banner after the country's National Olympic Committee was suspended following the "systemic manipulation" of the anti-doping system at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

This suspension can be lifted before the Closing Ceremony if they are ruled to have respected the "letter and spirit" of the IOC rules.

There have been few other moments of obvious dissent so far from Russian athletes, although officials and politicians from the country are continuing to publicly criticise the conduct of the IOC.

Despite the country competing as neutrals, the Russian flag has appeared on the official Pyeongchang 2018 results service on several occasions.