How many Russian athletes are competing for ROC at Tokyo Olympics?

Russian athletes have still performed in Tokyo as part of the Russian Olympic Committee due to being found guilty of a state-sponsored doping scheme

Harry Latham-Coyle
Friday 30 July 2021 15:46
Tokyo 2020 round-up

After a World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) ban, Russian athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are competing under the banner of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

The ROC is set to also compete under that name at the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Wada handed an initial four-year ban to the country after finding that data provided by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency had been manipulated as part of a state-sponsored doping scheme.

The ban was later reduced to two years after an appeal was heard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, with Cas allowing Russia to participate at the Olympics and other international events, but not use the flag, anthem or name of their country.

The ROC have 330 competitors at Tokyo 2020, competing in 30 different sports.

This is an increase on the numbers sent by the Russian team to Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

282 athletes competed at the previous Summer Olympics as Russia finished fourth on the medal table.

A larger group travelled to London for the 2012 Olympics: 436, with Russia initially leaving that summer with a total of 82 medals.

However 15 of those medals have since been stripped from Russian athletes for doping violations.

Limited numbers of ROC athletes will compete in the athletics events at Tokyo 2020, with World Athletics only permitting a maximum of ten Authorised Neutral Athletes.

The Russian anthem has been replaced for Tokyo 2020 – an earlier suggestion of the song “Katyusha” was rejected with a section of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 played when athletes from ROC win gold.

The ROC’s Mikhail Igolnikov competes in the judo men’s -90kg semifinal

This is not the first Olympics at which Russian athletes have competed under a different team name. At the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in 2018, Russian athletes competed under the banner of “Olympic Athletes from Russia”.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, a “Unified Team” competed at the dual 1992 Olympics, with those competing in Barcelona and Albertville a selection from the former Soviet states excluding the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments