Directions: In the following passage, some of the words have been left out, each of which is indicated by a letter. Find a suitable pair of words from the options given below for the blank so as to make the paragraph meaningful.
 
The Russian doping __A__ continues to cast a long shadow over international sport as the 2018 Winter Olympics begin in PyeongChang, South Korea, on February 9. In December, the International Olympic Committee __B__ Russia from competing in the Games following investigation into an alleged state-sponsored doping programme at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The decision to ban Russia came after the IOC’s Disciplinary Commission, headed by former president of the Swiss Confederation Samuel Schmid, confirmed “systemic __C__ of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia”. The IOC had stated, however, that clean Russian athletes would be __D__ to compete as neutrals and last month __E__ 169 of them — each to be known as Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) — to participate in the PyeongChang Games. The announcement did not go down well outside Russia, even though the IOC declared that “more than 80%” of those athletes had not competed in Sochi and had been carefully __F__. The OAR will __G__ one of the largest contingents at the Games, although there will be no place for the Russian flag and anthem, makes the ‘ban’ seem a bit of a __H__. Further, Russian athletes could be allowed to march under their own flag at the closing ceremony if they __I__ to the IOC’s conditions during the Games. There is a sense that the IOC is not able to __J__ a sporting superpower like Russia.
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B
The Russian doping __A__ continues to cast a long shadow over international sport

As per the context it is clear that the blank will have a negative word as it is a matter of defame.

Option A- Both the blanks are incontextual as they mean "a false statement"(slander) and "verbal expression of bad temper"(aspersion).

Option C- Corrode means "to weaken gradually" and Peccadillo means "a small fault" and are incontextual.

Option D- Tarnish means " become less respected" and Abuse means "misuse". Both convey the after effects of the doping event but are incontextual at this point.

Option B- Scandal means "a disgraceful event" and misconduct means "wrongdoing". Both perfectly fit in the blank.

Hence option B is the correct answer.
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D
International Olympic Committee __B__ Russia from competing in the Games  following investigation into an alleged state-sponsored doping programme

The statement after the blank confirms that an action like ban or expulsion could be taken by the IOC, as the matter is under investigation.

Option A- Debarred meas "banned" and exonerated means "free from guilt". Clearly the second word is opposite to what is required. This option is eliminated.

Option B- Precluded means "prohibited" and shunned means "avoid". Shunned does not fit in and the option can be eliminated.

Option C- Abjure means "to give up/quit" while abstain means "to prevent". The first word here does not fit in and the option is eliminated.

Option D- Forbade and banned both mean "to prohibit", which absolutely fits the context.

Hence option D is the correct answer.
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A
“systemic __C__ of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia”.

So far, we have estabilished that Russia has been banned from the winter olympics this year due to a doping scandal back in 2014 wherein it was found that large-scale doping was blatantly taking place and was also state-sponsored.

Option B- The second word 'intrigue' means a "secret plan" which does not go with "systematic".

Option C- "Compliance" is just opposite to the context, which is about breaking the rules.

Option D- "Gimmick" means "trick" which is absurd here.

Option A- Manipulation means "influence/control shrewdly" and manoeuvering means "clever handling". Both the words fit in the blank.

Hence option A is the correct answer.
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C
clean Russian athletes would be __D__ to compete as neutrals

This is with reference to the announcement by IOC, where it declared that Clean Russian athletes would be allowed to compete. The tone is positive

Option A is wrong as both the words are opposite to what is needed.

Option B is incorrect because of the second word "middling" which means average and is out of the context.

Option C is correct because both the words of this option mean to allow, which goes well with the context.

Option D is incorrect because of the word "Avowed" which means to confess and is simply absurd.

Hence, Option C is the correct answer.
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B
and last month __E__ 169 of them — each to be known as Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) — to participate in the PyeongChang Games.

This statement talks about the 169 'clean' Russian athletes, in continuation from the previous statement. The tone here is positive.

Option A can be easily eliminated as both words are distinctly negative.

Option C- Solicit means to plead for something while invoked means to call upon. Both the words are meaningless in the present context.

Option D- To summon means to call to a place again while evoked means to induce/elicit.Both the words are meaningless in the present context.

Option B- Both invited and asked fit perfectly in the blank. It matches the positive tone of the statement as well.

Hence option B is the correct answer.