Have you noticed an unfamiliar name and flag during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics? Well, if you are not sure what country that represents, you are not the only one. It is not a country abbreviation.
ROC stands for the Russian Olympic Committee. Russia will be competing under a different name for the second consecutive Olympic Games. For the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, the country participated as the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR), and for the 2021 Tokyo Games, they are known as the ROC.
Initially, Rusia had been suspended for four years of Olympic action but was reduced to two years in 2020. During that two-year period, Russian athletes are still able to compete in Olympic competitions due to the establishment of the ROC. Now, there are 335 Russians competing in the ongoing 2021 Olympics. However, those athletes who participated must be the ones free from the doping scandal.
“We at WADA remain disappointed that [the Court of Arbitration for Sport] has decreased the level of the sanctions from four years to two years and that CAS allows them to compete for Russian athletes with the colors of the flag in the uniforms,” WADA President Witold Bańka said, per USA TODAY Sports.