Ban? What ban? Russian athletes leap into third spot in the Olympic medal table ...

Ban? What ban? Russian athletes leap into third spot in the Olympic medal table ...
Ban? What ban? Russian athletes leap into third spot in the Olympic medal table ...

Viewers of the Tokyo Olympics could be forgiven for forgetting that Russia is officially banned from the competition as Russian athletes, kitted out in red, white and blue, continue to rack up medals.

Russia was banned from several major international sporting events over mass doping dating back to the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, but 335 athletes from the country who have proven they are untainted by the scandal have been allowed to participate in Tokyo under a neutral flag.

Known as the ROC - the Russian Olympic Committee - the team bears a strong resemblance to a regular Russian team and was placed third in the medal table, behind China, the United States - in joint first place with 21 medals - and Japan with 15, as of Tuesday morning. 

Russia has a long history of Olympic success and athletes competing as the ROC have so far won 16 medals - five gold, seven silver and four bronze. 

But at medal ceremonies, Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No.1 is played instead of the national anthem and the Russian flag is nowhere to be seen, having been banned from any Olympic venue outside the Olympic Village.

Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer

However, the trikolor is clearly distinguishable on ROC athletes' kit and the athletes themselves have little doubt as to which team they are competing for.

'If the flag is not allowed, we ourselves will be the flag,' Rugby captain Alena Tiron told the Russian state news agency RIA Novostu. 

'We know which country we stand for.'       

Viewers of the Tokyo Olympics could be forgiven for forgetting that Russia is officially banned from the competition as Russian athletes  continue to rack up medals. Pictured: The ROC team win gold for artistic gymnastics

Viewers of the Tokyo Olympics could be forgiven for forgetting that Russia is officially banned from the competition as Russian athletes  continue to rack up medals. Pictured: The ROC team win gold for artistic gymnastics

Russia was banned from several major international sporting events over mass doping dating back to the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, but some athletes are allowed to compete under a neutral flag. Pictured: The ROC team win gold for artistic gymnastics

Russia was banned from several major international sporting events over mass doping dating back to the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, but some athletes are allowed to compete under a neutral flag. Pictured: The ROC team win gold for artistic gymnastics

Known as the ROC - the Russian Olympic Committee - the team bears a strong resemblance to a regular Russian team and was placed third in the medal table, behind China, the United States - in joint first place with 21 medals - and Japan with 15, as of Tuesday morning. Pictured: Anastasiia Galashina wins silver in the women's 10m air rifle

Known as the ROC - the Russian Olympic Committee - the team bears a strong resemblance to a regular Russian team and was placed third in the medal table, behind China, the United States - in joint first place with 21 medals - and Japan with 15, as of Tuesday morning. Pictured: Anastasiia Galashina wins silver in the women's 10m air rifle

Even before the Games kicked off the ROC sparked anger by unveiling the kit in the Russian national colours.

Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer

The ZASPORT-designed kit, revealed in April, features polo shirts and jackets along with a white top, with large portions of blue and red emblazoned across the torso, and matching block-coloured bottoms.  

ROC president Stanislav Pozdnyakov admitted at the time that the Russian flag was visible 'really, really obviously' in the design, saying: 'You don't really need to have a strong imagination.'

The kits were accused of making a mockery of the initial ban imposed by WADA – although CAS' watering down has allowed for the colours of the country to be used.

The International Olympic Committee have emphasised that the designs 'are in line with the established and published implementation guidelines.' They explained that they were approved 'on this basis'.    

An initial punishment lasting for four years was imposed on Russia last year by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which saw them barred from events including the Tokyo Games and Paralympics as well as the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The ban was then reduced to two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), a move which was greeted with a fierce backlash.

It was unanimously found by CAS that Russia had not been in compliance with anti-doping rules and regulations. 

The panel said it 'considered matters of proportionality and, in particular, the need to effect cultural change and encourage the next generation of Russian athletes to participate in clean international sport.'

The ruling means that the phrase 'neutral athlete' must be displayed prominently on uniforms where the word 'Russia' also appears. The period of the ban will end in December 2022.

Even before the Games kicked off the ROC sparked anger by unveiling the kit in the Russian national colours. Pictured: The ROC win silver in the women's team archery event

Even before the Games kicked off the ROC sparked anger by unveiling the kit in the Russian national colours. Pictured: The ROC win silver in the women's team archery event

Russia has a long history of Olympic success and athletes competing as the ROC have so far won 16 medals - five gold, seven silver and four bronze. Pictured: Maksim Khramstov takes home gold for the men's 80kg Taekwondo

Russia has a long history of Olympic success and athletes competing as the ROC have so far won 16 medals - five gold, seven silver and four bronze. Pictured: Maksim Khramstov takes home gold for the men's 80kg Taekwondo

At medal ceremonies, Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No.1 is played instead of the national anthem. Pictured: Vitalina Batsarashkina poses after winning gold in the women's 10m air pistol

At medal ceremonies, Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No.1 is played instead of the national anthem. Pictured: Vitalina Batsarashkina poses after winning gold in the women's 10m air pistol

The Russian flag is nowhere to be seen, having been banned from any Olympic venue outside the Olympic Village, but its colours feature on the team's kit. Pictured: Mikhail Artamonov wins bronze in the men's 58kg Taekwondo

The Russian flag is nowhere to be seen, having been banned from any Olympic venue outside the Olympic Village, but its colours feature on the team's kit. Pictured: Mikhail Artamonov wins bronze in the men's 58kg Taekwondo

Dmitry

read more from dailymail.....

NEXT Afghan heroes who risked lives helping UK troops are given permission to live ...