Can Russia's athletes still compete in the Tokyo Olympic Games?

Under the latest guidelines, Russian athletes who meet specific anti-doping criteria can only compete as neutrals in international events, including the Tokyo Olympics.

Russia will compete in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics under the name ROC (Russian Olympic Committee).   -  AP

Russia has been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from competing in international sporting events for two years. However, the country's athletes are set to participate in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics if they satisfy certain conditions.

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After WADA imposed a ban on Russia, its Compliance Review Committee, alongside the International Olympic Committee (IOC), worked out a plan with the country to facilitate the participation of its athletes in the Olympics.

Under the latest guidelines, Russian athletes who meet specific anti-doping criteria can only compete as neutrals in international events, including the Tokyo Games and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

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The nation will compete in Japan under the name ROC (Russian Olympic Committee). Its athletes will wear uniforms bearing the blue, red, and white colours of the Russian flag. Music composed by artist Pyotr Tchaikovsky will replace the Russian national anthem at the Games.

At the end of June, the ROC announced a 335-athlete contingent to compete at the Olympics this month. This number is an improvement on the 282 Russia fielded at the 2016 edition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

But the IOC had eliminated 118 competitors put forward by Russia after a major doping review back then. On the other hand, Russia has denied the existence of a state-sponsored doping program to date.

Russia's flag was also banned at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, with the country acknowledging some shortcomings in its implementation of anti-doping policies.

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