Russia Will Compete as “ROC” at Tokyo 2020, Beijing 2022 Olympics

In an agreement with the World Anti-Doping Agency, the International Olympic Committee announced on Friday their guidelines for Russia to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. This was in response to the December ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport. 

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) imposed an initial four-year sanction on Russia in 2019 by declaring the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) as non-compliant. The ban came after a lengthy doping scandal for Russia in which the McLaren Reports detailed a large, state-sponsored doping program to help shield Russian athletes from bans. RUSADA fell out of compliance around the time of the McLaren Reports in 2016. One major condition of RUSADA‘s reinstatement was that Russia turn over full lab data from its Moscow anti-doping lab. But Russia missed the deadline to turn over the data, and when it did, WADA said the data had been doctored when compared to data leaked by a whistleblower in 2017.

In December the CAS reduced that period from four years to two years.

Not an outright-ban, instead it prevents Russia’s team name and national anthem for Olympics and world championship sporting events through 2022. These include the upcoming Tokyo games, the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, and any world championships.

Russia has retained hosting rights to events such as the 2021 European Short Course Swimming Championships which will be held in Kazan.

The punishment also blocks Russian sport and government officials from attending the Olympics in an official capacity or serving on governance committees of any doping signatory, including the aquatics governing body FINA.

Similar to the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Russian athletes will be able to compete in Tokyo and Beijing but under a different moniker. The athletes will compete as the “Russian Olympic Committee” and use the ROC acronym. The name “Russia” is only permitted on uniforms, equipment, etc if “neutral athlete” is included as well. To avoid this, the name ROC will be used on all items. In 2018 athletes were known as “Olympic Athletes from Russia” or “OAR.”

The Russian national anthem and flag are banned for these competitions as well. Officials are working to select a piece of music that will be played during medal ceremonies. The emblem of the ROC, a flame in the colors of white, blue, and red above the Olympic rings will replace the Russian flag or Russian Federation emblem on all uniforms and equipment The flag will be the ROC emblem on a white background.

Russian Olympic Committee Logo

The logo of the Russian Olympic Committee will be on the flag when athletes from Russia win medals.

In 2016 seven Russian swimmers were initially declared ineligible to compete at the Rio Olympics including Yulia Efimova and Vlad Morozov. After appealing their cases, all seven athletes were cleared and participated in the games. Efimova took silver in both the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke events. The 100 race was a showdown between American Lily King who famously gave a finger wag after watching Efimova win her semi final heat.

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1 year ago

Is the IOC sure about using the abbreviation ROC in the PRC? Did China okay this? Lol

Holly Parrish
Reply to  IM FAN
1 year ago


1 year ago

I thought they were competing as the “Republic of China” for a second.

Olympunks & Gamester Bullies
Reply to  Cookedlays
1 year ago