Russian Olympic Committee

Explainer

What’s the R.O.C.? Independent athletes compete at Tokyo 2020 Olympics

By Jimmie Johnson, Maria Tomasch

Athletes from the R.O.C. have been racking up medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. While independent from Russia, their success has renewed attention to a scandal that sidelined their home country for two years.

JIMMIE JOHNSON: ATHLETES FROM RUSSIA ARE RACKING UP THE MEDALS AT THE SUMMER GAMES.

BUT THEY ARE NOT REPRESENTING RUSSIA.

THEY ARE THE ROC. THE RUSSIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE. WHY?

LET’S GET THIS STRAIGHT.

THE WORLD-ANTI DOPING AGENCY BANNED RUSSIA FROM COMPETING IN THE OLYMPICS FOR TWO YEARS, 2020 TO 2022.

THE SCANDAL REVEALED THE USE OF STEROIDS AND OTHER PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS TO BE A STATE-SPONSORED PROGRAM, BUT IT WASN’T JUST ABOUT DOPING. IT WAS ABOUT THE COVER-UP TOO.

SO NOW FOR A TWO-YEAR PERIOD, NO ATHLETE CAN REPRESENT RUSSIA AT THE OLYMPICS, PARALYMPICS, OR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS.

OFFICIALLY THE ATHLETES WILL REPRESENT THE ROC.

INSTEAD OF THE RUSSIAN FLAG, THE ROC FLAG WILL HANG ABOVE THE WINNER’S PODIUM.

IT WON’T BE ON THEIR UNIFORMS EITHER, BUT ATHLETES COULD WEAR THE NATIONAL COLORS.

IF THEIR UNIFORMS SAY “RUSSIA,” THEY MUST ALSO INCLUDE “NEUTRAL ATHLETE” OR SOMETHING EQUIVALENT IN THE SAME SIZE.

AND THERE WILL BE NO RUSSIAN ANTHEM PLAYED. IT DID NOT PLAY WHEN VITANLINA BATSARASHKINA WON THE ROC’S FIRST GOLD MEDAL IN THE 10 METER PISTOL EVENT.

THIS BAN WILL EXTEND TO THE WINTER OLYMPICS IN BEIJING IN FEBRUARY 2022. RUSSIA WILL NOT BE REPRESENTED THERE EITHER.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE OLYMPIC BAN ON RUSSIA? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

 

 

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Athletes from the R.O.C. have been racking up medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. While independent from Russia, their success has renewed attention to a scandal that sidelined their home country for two years.

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