Russian sports fans may be allowed to wave their national flag at events in the upcoming Winter Games in South Korea, but the country's athletes have been warned to do otherwise as they head down the homestretch in their events.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on January 26 outlined the rules of conduct for Russian athletes who will be competing under the moniker "Olympic Athlete from Russia" after their country was banned from the February 9-25 Games in Pyeongchang for systemic doping.
Athletes and team officials will "refrain from any public form of publicity, activity and communication associated with the national flag, anthem, emblem and symbols and [National Olympic Committee] emblem at any Olympic site or via media (including social media - retweets, reposting, etc.),” the code of conduct says.
Athletes cannot "solicit or accept the national flag, anthem, emblem and symbols at any Olympic site (e.g. accepting the national flag from the public, singing the national anthem inside an Olympic venue, etc.)," it says.
The document adds that the only exception to the policy is that participants can display Russian flags in the bedrooms of their accommodation at the Olympics as long as they are not visible from outside.
In December, the IOC banned Russia from the event, citing its "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of the Olympic anti-doping system.
But it said that some Russians would be allowed to compete in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag provided they met certain guidelines on doping.
The IOC has said that Russian sports fans will be allowed to bring their national flag to events in Pyeongchang, but has also suggested that "organized political" demonstrations would bring further sanctions.
The code of conduct also states that athletes are forbidden from participating in "alternate" victory ceremonies "at any site."