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Russia’s Olympic ban branded ‘a mockery’ as Team GB suffers at hands of ROC athletes

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Russian athletes continue to enjoy Olympic success at the Tokyo Games, despite the country being officially banned from competing. In 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency banned Russia from all international sporting competitions, including the Olympics, for four years over a doping scandal. Investigators found Russia had tampered with drug-testing data in order to conceal state-sponsored doping programmes involving over 1,000 athletes.

Moscow appealed the ban, which was subsequently cut in half to two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2020.

However, this has not prevented Russian athletes from participating in the Olympics.

To get around the ban, the Kremlin created the ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) – a scheme that allows Russian athletes untainted by the doping scandal to compete in Tokyo.

The ROC currently lies fourth in the medal table with a total of 30 medals, that includes nine golds.

The decision to allow the Russians to take part in the Games under the banner of the ROC has provoked strong criticism from other athletes.

Global Athlete’s Rob Koehler told the Daily Telegraph: “I can understand the frustration from athletes.

“The reality is Russia continues to make a mockery of both the anti-doping system and the judicial powers in place to enforce it.”

British athletes have suffered at the hands of their Russian counterparts during the games.

Team GB’s gymnasts missed out on a bronze and silver medals in the team men’s and women’s events to the ROC.

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Tory MP Bob Seely called the decision to allow Russian athletes to compete “ridiculous” and “a subversion of international institutions.”

ROC athletes continue to wear the Russian colours of white, blue and red.

Their flag features an Olympic flame in Russian colours above the five Olympic Rings, while Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Concerto No. 1” has replaced the national anthem.

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