Why is Russia called ROC at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics

Australia’s Beach Volleyball team went up against athletes representing ROC on Monday afternoon at the Tokyo Olympics, but you’d be forgiven for not thinking such a country exists — it doesn’t.

The sportsmen and women for ROC are unable to play under the flag of their country, because of its history of very un-sportsmanlike conduct.

What’s coming up at the Olympics?

In 2019, Russia was banned from global sporting events by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) due to allegations of cover-ups and drug cheating.

It means Russian athletes aren’t allowed to represent Russia while competing at the Games.

What country is ROC in the Olympics?

ROC isn’t a country, but a loophole through which Russian athletes can compete in the Olympics, even though Russia is banned.

ROC stands for Russian Olympic Committee, and Russian athletes are allowed to represent the committee, even though they can’t represent their own country.

Olympic rules require that the acronym ROC be used instead of the full name.

It means that when a Russian Olympian wins gold, the Russian flag won’t be flown, and the Russian national anthem won’t play. Instead, a snippet of a Tchaikovsky piece is played as the ROC flag is raised.

Team uniforms are allowed to contain the word “Russian” but only if it’s followed by the phrase “neutral athlete”, making clear the person is not representing Russia.

Why is Russia banned from the Olympics?

Russia was banned from competing in several major international events by WADA in late 2019.

The decision came after an investigation found Russian authorities had planted fake evidence and deleted files linked to positive doping tests that could have helped to identify drug cheats.

The revelations pointed to a state-sponsored doping program in Russia.

Russia has previously blamed technical issues for discrepancies in its doping data.

How long is Russia banned from the Olympics for?

When WADA handed down its ban on Russia in 2019, it was for 4 years, however, that was reduced to 2 years on appeal.

Keep up to date with the latest Tokyo Olympics news

The Tokyo Olympics have begun. Stay up to date with all the action from the Games.


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