Russia’s new group title ROC and flag OK’d for the following 2 Olympics

GENEVA – With Russia’s name banned from the next two Olympics, the country’s team and athletes will be officially branded “ROC,” the International Olympic Committee said on Friday.

The team name – an abbreviation for Russian Olympic Committee – was agreed by the IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency, which have accused the country of running a state-sponsored doping program.

Russia’s team name, flag and national anthem have been banned by the Court of Arbitration for Sports at this year’s Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Games. The CAS ruling imposed two years of sanctions on Russian sport for manipulating a test database in Moscow while the laboratory was under state control.

The agreement to call Team ROC avoids the use of the word “neutral”, which WADA insisted, and must offset any reference to the word “Russia” on uniforms or equipment.

Russian competitors were known as “Olympic Athletes from Russia” at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The Russian team flag in Tokyo and Beijing will be the ROC symbol – an Olympic flame in the white, blue and red stripes of the national flag over the five Olympic rings.

A piece of music to replace the Russian national anthem at medal ceremonies has not yet been agreed.

“The Russian Olympic Committee will come up with a proposed musical score to be played for all ceremonies,” said the IOC.

President of the Republic of China Stanislav Pozdnyakov, who also headed the Olympic delegation in 2018, said the Republic of China had already submitted the IOC proposals for the anthem and uniforms.

Russia wants to use “Katyusha”, a patriotic folk song from the Soviet era that is strongly linked to the fight against Nazi Germany in World War II.

“We felt it was necessary to find and commit, preferably in writing, a reasonable balance between the full implementation of the Sports Arbitration Court and compliance with the legal rights and interests of our athletes and associations,” said Pozdnyakov.

The International Skating Union approved a piece of music by Tchaikovsky for their world championships.

The toughest resistance to Russian cheating came from the governing body, according to which Russians must compete as authorized neutral athletes at world championships.

This year, Russians took part in world championships under names such as the Russian Ski Association and the Russian Luge Association.

Russia was also banned from competing in major sports or receiving hosting rights until December 2022. World championships that have already been awarded to Russia should be postponed unless it is “legally or practically impossible” to make changes.

On Friday, the governing body for sport climbing – a sport that will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo – announced that Moscow would host its world championships in September. The wrestling governing body previously pushed Russia’s host of the worlds back by a year to 2023.

FIFA has not announced the status of the 2021 Beach Soccer World Cup to be held in Moscow.

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