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IOC Bars Russian Anthem, Flags From Upcoming Olympics, Restricts Logo Design


A supporter waves a Russian flag in front of the logo of the International Olympic Committee at its headquarters in Pully, near Lausanne, Switzerland.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has barred the Russian national anthem and flag from official ceremonies during the upcoming Winter Olympics and said the country’s national colors cannot be represented on athletes’ uniforms.

The December 20 ruling comes after the IOC two weeks ago banned the Russia team from the February 9-25 games, citing evidence of an "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of the anti-doping system.

But the IOC left the door open for Russian athletes who clear several strict anti-doping hurdles to compete in the games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, under a neutral uniform and under the Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) status.

In its ruling, the IOC said any of the estimated 200 individuals expected to compete as OARs must not wear anything that resembled the national colors of red, white, and blue.

It also said the word "Russia" cannot be more prominent than "Olympic Athlete from" on their uniforms. It proposed a logo with the OAR phrase around a circle and the word “Russia” upside down.

The Russia Olympic Committee (ROC) on December 19 said it had sent the IOC a preliminary list of Russian athletes intending to compete.

The IOC said on December 20 that a panel "will evaluate every athlete under consideration” using “clear and detailed criteria” on what constitutes a clean competitor.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, dpa, and TASS
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