Why Russia can’t compete in the Olympic Games

Despite the ban that Russia received from participating in international competitions, their athletes in Tokyo Olympic Games compete under the neutral flag of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

When Russian athletes stand on the podium in Tokyo after winning Olympic gold, they listen to Tchaikovsky’s piano concerto instead of the national anthem.

They are not allowed to wave the Russian flag or compete under the name of their own country.

Russian athletes at Tokyo Olympic Games

Image Source: rt.com

Why is Russia banned from the Olympics

These sanctions are a reaction to the history of doping in Russia, which for four years led a state-sponsored doping program in the “vast majority” of summer and winter Olympic sports.

In addition, officials falsified tests during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia as hosts finished at the top of the table in the number of medals won.

Since then, Russian athletes have faced restrictions at the Olympics.

In Tokyo, more than 300 athletes in 30 sports compete as the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), which is in fifth place in the table of medals won, with 49 medals, 12 are gold so far and counting.

Their success did not go well among the competition, which believes that Russia should not be allowed to compete at the Olympic Games at all.

American swimmer Ryan Murphy said that the finals in the 200-meter backstroke on Friday “probably not clean” since he lost the Olympic title to Yevgeny Rilov.

“Of course, there is a lot of talk in the media about the performance of the Russian Federation at the Olympic Games.

It can be frustrating when you look at it as an athlete, knowing that there was a state-sponsored doping program and that more can be done to fight it. “

Olympic and Russian flag

Image Source: fairplanet.org

How Russia got Banned

The doping scandal erupted in 2014 after an investigation by German television and when a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) two years later found evidence of falsifying tests at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

It was revealed that among Russian athletes, there was widespread use of drugs that promote sports performance and blood doping, which was encouraged and covered up by coaches, doctors, the state, and sports officials.

Russia is generally banned from competing in Olympic Games in Rio in 2016, and only those who could prove they were clean were allowed to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang under a neutral flag.

According to the current ban of WADA, Russia cannot compete in any major sports competition, and Tokyo is now the third Olympic Games in a row in which its athletes face restrictions.

Russian (ROC) athletes are not allowed to use the Russian flag, but they are allowed to use the same colors, blue, red, and white, as long as they do not have the word Russia or any other national symbol on their clothes.

For example, a team from artistic swimming was forbidden to put a bear on bathing suits, because the International Olympic Committee (IOC) estimated that it was too closely connected with Russia.

Nor could they fully use the song for the performance – “With Russia from Love”,​which the IOC ruled must omit the name of the country.

At these Olympic Games, all doping controls are performed by the International Testing Agency (ITA) a body independent of the IOC.

ITA announced on Friday that more than half of the expected 5,000 doping tests in Tokyo 2020 have already been completed, but there is no information yet about any positive cases.

The agency added that the most tested sports so far were water sports, rowing, athletics, cycling, and weightlifting, while the most tested teams were competitors from the USA, Australia, China, Great Britain, and Russia (ROC).

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