The WADA sanctions ruled that Russian athletes can compete as neutrals at events in Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022, but only under the banner of Russian Olympic Committee. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Russian athletes are cleared to participate at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and 2022 Beijing Paralympic Games under the name ROC (Russian Olympic Committee). The announcement came on Saturday as part of the implementation guidelines approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s Compliance Review Committee.

The guidelines set out the principles in relation to the implementation of sanctions imposed on the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) by WADA, and partially upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for the manipulation of the now infamous Moscow Laboratory data.

Under the sanctions, only Russian athletes who meet certain criteria will be able to compete as neutrals at events, including Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022, but Russia will be unable to host or be granted the right to stage, any major events during the two-year period of the sanctions.

WADA originally ruled the sanctions should be in place for four years but this was halved to two following an appeal to CAS.

The implementation guidelines set out guidance on the organisations’ participation name, flags, emblem and uniforms to be used during the Olympic and Paralympic Games and World Championships that fall during the period when the sanctions will be in force - December 17 last year until December 16 in 2022.

Russian athletes must be entered by and represent the ROC at the forthcoming Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 Games. The guidelines go on that the acronym should be used during all public displays of the organisation’s participant name, instead of the full name.

The ROC emblem is set to be used during Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 with the implementation guidelines stating that the emblem should not contain the flag of the Russian Federation or the name Russia.

The Russian national anthem will not be allowed to be officially played at the Olympic or Paralympic Games under the sanctions with the guidelines stating that the ROC must submit a proposed musical score to be played at all ceremonies. The musical score submitted by the ROC must be approved by the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board (IOC).

In relation to uniforms, clothing and equipment, all Russian flags must be replaced by the ROC emblem while any uniform that features the wording “the Russian Olympic Committee” must either remove the words or replace them with the acronym ROC.