‘Is the Russian flag banned?’ Western media fume as Russia unveils stylish neutral Olympic uniform for Tokyo Games
Russian athletes at the Tokyo Games this summer will be barred from competing under the national flag and with the national anthem, as the result of sanctions imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Three months ago, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld a series of sanctions introduced by WADA over alleged manipulation of data at a Moscow anti-doping laboratory.
The CAS ruled that Russian athletes competing at major international events – including the World Championships and Olympics – will be prohibited from using national symbols until December 2022.
Russian athletes appearing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing will perform under the name ‘ROC’, the acronym which represents the Russian Olympic Committee.
On Wednesday, Zasport, the official supplier of the Russian Olympic team, unveiled new uniforms featuring bore the logo of the ROC instead of the country's flag.
The uniform presented by models and athletes in a glitzy runway show in Moscow appeared to infuriate some international sports pundits, who ranted over the fact that the kit included the ROC’s logo of three flames in the colors of the national flag.
Criticism was also voiced over the sportswear’s color combination, as it contained white, blue and red fragments, something that was interpreted by skeptics as a “giant Russian flag”
Russian competitors, barred from competing at Olympics and other major international events under their flag and with their anthem until 2022, unveiled blue, red and white uniforms for the Tokyo Olympics. Read more here: https://t.co/Md6S5M0jxopic.twitter.com/sUhfZUTWlE— Reuters Sports (@ReutersSports) April 15, 2021
Oh look, the Russian Olympic uniform looks like a giant Russian flag. That’s right the Russian flag that was supposedly banned from the 2020 Olympics 🙄 https://t.co/72abw7B3Pi— tariq panja (@tariqpanja) April 15, 2021
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that the uniform fully met the requirements stipulated by the body in connection with WADA’s sanctions.
“The ROC uniform designs for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are in line with the established and published implementation guidelines,” the IOC said. “The uniforms have been approved on this basis.”