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Why is the Russia flag banned from Tokyo Olympics 2021?

Team Russia has been banned from the Tokyo Olympics, but this doesn’t mean Russian athletes won’t compete. The athletes will participate under the name ROC.

Why is the Russia flag banned from Tokyo Olympics 2021?
Gavrill GrigorovGetty Images

Russian athletes are participating in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The country has a plethora of notable athletes and squad’s that could very well win medals at this year’s Olympic Games. In fact, 335 Russian athletes will participate in the Tokyo Olympics.

However, these athletes will participate as neutral athletes, under the name ROC, an acronym for the Russian Olympic Committee. Russia will have no anthem nor flag representing them, but rather will participate as neutrals.

What flag will the Russian athletes use?

Russia will use the ROC symbol, which is the Olympic symbol with the Russian flag above it. Russia is not permitted to use any of its country’s symbols at the Tokyo Olympics.

Why is Russia’s flag and anthem banned from the Olympics?

Russia refused to offer data from the Moscow drug laboratory, thus the decision serves as a punishment to the country by the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti Doping Agency.

The Olympics has a testing program to ensure that athletes are not using performance enhancing drugs. The World Anti-Doping Agency releases the number of tests given out to athletes, but the pandemic has posed serious problems for drug testing. During the pandemic, it became difficult to control and maintain consistent testing.

There have been debates about whether or not drug testing should be made public. Most say that in order to build trust, openness, and to ensure accountability at the Olympic Games, it’s important that this information is open to the public.

This past month, Sha’Carri Richardson was suspended for one month as she tested positive for cannabis, meaning it’s unlikely she will compete at the Tokyo Olympics.

Richardson took to twitter to say, “I am human.”

Although Richardson has accepted the doping sanction, she wants it known that she will not go down in history for having used a performance enhancing drug.

"Richardson said, “It’s never been a steroid. It will never be a steroid attached to the name Sha’Carri Richardson.”

The Court of Arbitration for Sport settles sports-related disputes through arbitration and mediation, and has determined that Russia will not be permitted to use its flag or anthem for the next two Olympic Games or any World championships for the next two years due to their refusal to be transparent with drug testing data and information.


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