Russia Rebrands Itself Due to Ban-Athletes Will Compete Under a Different Name at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 07/19/2021, 7:48 AM EDT

Russia, one of the Olympic powerhouses, has rebranded itself for Tokyo Olympics 2020. Russian athletes will not compete under the name of their country as the nation is serving its ban from the Olympics, because of doping cases.


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Athletes will represent the Russian Olympic Committee, due to a ban on the Russian flag, name, and anthem. However, the national colors will be on their uniforms.

Longest-running doping saga


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The Court of Arbitration for Sport had barred Russia for four years because of the manipulation of data. The Russian authorities were involved in hampering data to save athletes from the state-sponsored doping schemes.

However, Russia later filed an appeal to the court, and the ban was reduced for two years. The court allowed athletes to compete, but they cannot use the country’s name or flag for two years. Russians have to compete as ‘neutral athletes’.

Athletes representing ‘ROC’

Russians will bear the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee, while they will represent the acronym “ROC”. A fragment of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto has replaced the Russian anthem.

The ROC Athletics team can only send 10 athletes approved by World Athletics. The uniforms will have the colors of the Russian flag, but no mention of the country.

Around 335 ROC Athletes at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Even though there are many fallouts, the squad number has not been affected drastically. The numbers aren’t clear, but around 335 Russians will be in Tokyo. Interestingly, 50 more compared to the Rio Olympics.

Athletics and Wrestling are the only Russian teams that have a limit on the number of representatives. World Athletics sanctioned Russian athletes can compete in Tokyo. A certification program of “authorized neutral athlete” was conducted.

Weightlifting also had its own system of doping sanctions. The Russian team could only send one male and one female lifter to the mega-event.

Construction workers are seen at the waterfront area at Odaiba Marine Park in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games that have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan June 22, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato

FINA has banned two Russian swimmers ahead of Tokyo Olympics 2020. Olympian Veronika Popova and Alexandr Kudashev won’t be competing in swimming as they violated doping rules.


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Two Russian rowers tested positive for a banned substance and won’t compete in Tokyo. However, a decent number of the squad is still going to compete. Volleyball player Maxim Mikhailov and fencer Sophia Velikaya will be flag bearers for ROC.

Even though there are limitations for the team, critics seem unsatisfied with the rules laid out for them. Whereas, Russians think it is going to affect the team’s morale as they won’t perform under the nation’s name.


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Shreya Verma

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Shreya Verma is an NBA and Tennis Author at EssentiallySports. A graduate of Political Science, Shreya comes from a strong sports background. A professional 10m air pistol shooter, Shreya is also a tennis enthusiast.