With Russia’s name banned from the next two Olympics, the country’s team and athletes will be officially marked as “ROC,” the International Olympic Committee said on Friday.
The team’s name, an acronym for Russian Olympic Committee, has been agreed upon by the IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency, which has accused the country of running a state-backed doping program.
Russia team name, flag and national anthem they were banned of this year’s Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The TAS ruling imposed two years of sanctions on Russian sports for tampering with a test database in Moscow while the lab was under state control.
The agreement to call the team ROC avoids the use of the word “neutral,” which WADA insisted on countering any reference to the word “Russia” on uniforms or equipment.
The Russian competitors were known as “Olympic Athletes of Russia” at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The flag of the Russian team in Tokyo and Beijing will be the symbol of the ROC: an Olympic flame in the white, blue and red stripes of the national flag above the five Olympic rings.
A piece of music to replace the Russian national anthem at medal ceremonies has yet to be agreed.
“The Russian Olympic Committee will present a proposal for a musical score to be played at all ceremonies,” the IOC said.
ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov, who also led the 2018 Olympic delegation, said he had already submitted the IOC’s proposals for the anthem and uniforms.
Russia aims to use “Katyusha”, a patriotic folk song from the Soviet era strongly identified with the fight against Nazi Germany in World War II.
“We consider it necessary to find and commit ourselves, preferably in writing, to a rational balance between the full implementation of the sports arbitration ruling and the observance of the legal rights and interests of our athletes and federations,” Pozdnyakov said.
The International Skating Union approved a piece of music composed by Tchaikovsky for its world championships.
The toughest position against Russian cheating has been taken by the track’s governing body, which requires Russians to compete as Authorized Neutral Athletes at world championships.
This year, the Russians have competed under names like the Russian Ski Federation or Russian Luge Federation in world championships.
Russia has also been banned from bidding or receiving hosting rights for major sports until December 2022. World championships already awarded to Russia were supposed to be moved unless it was “legally or virtually impossible” to change.
On Friday, the governing body for sport climbing, which makes its Olympic debut in Tokyo, said it would keep Moscow as the venue for its world championships in September. The governing body of wrestling previously delayed the Russian organization of the World Cups by one year until 2023.
FIFA has not announced the status of the 2021 Beach Soccer World Cup, which will be played in Moscow.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.