Russia unveils flagless uniforms for Tokyo Games


A model presents one of the uniforms of the Russian Olympic team designed by ZASPORT, the official clothing supplier for national athletes competing in this year's Tokyo Olympics, in Moscow, Russia April 14, 2021. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian competitors at this year's Tokyo Olympics will be wearing blue, red and white uniforms, but their country's tricolour flag will not appear because of doping sanctions.

ZASPORT, the supplier of the Russian Olympic team, unveiled uniforms on Wednesday that bore the logo of the Russian Olympic Committee instead of the country's flag.

The logo of the Russian Olympic Committee consists of three flames in the colours of the national flag with the Olympic rings below them.

Russian athletes are barred from competing at major international events, including the Olympics, under their flag and with their anthem until 2022 following a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last year.

The sanctions, initially imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) but later halved to two years after an appeal, were designed to punish Moscow for providing global anti-doping authorities with doctored laboratory data that could have helped identify drug cheats.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) published guidelines in February pertaining to uniforms and other aspects of competition. It said at the time that Russians would compete as representatives of the Russian Olympic Committee under the acronym "ROC".

Many Russian athletes were barred from the past two Olympics and the country deprived of its flag at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games as punishment for state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Sochi Games.

Russia, which has acknowledged issues in its implementation of anti-doping policies, denies running a state-sponsored doping programme.

(Reporting by Evgenia Novozhenina and Lev Sergeev; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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