• REUTERS

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Russian athletes will compete under the acronym “ROC” at the Tokyo Olympics this year — part of the nation’s sanctions for several doping scandals — the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Friday.

The full name of the Russian Olympic Committee could not be used as team flags would have beared the logo of the committee, it said.

If the word “Russian” wasn’t removed from team uniforms, the term “Neutral Athlete” would have been used.

“All public displays of the organization’s participant name should use the acronym ‘ROC’, not the full name “Russian Olympic Committee,” the IOC said in a statement.

The logo of the Russian Olympic Committee consists of three flames in the colors of the national flag with the Olympic rings below them.

Russian athletes have been banned from competing under their national flag and anthem at this year’s Tokyo Olympics, the Beijing “Winter Olympics in 2022 and world championships in all sports in 2021 and 2022 as part of sanctions issued by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

WADA had originally banned Russia from the world’s top sporting events for four years in December 2019, but the duration of the sanctions was cut to two years by a Swiss Court last year.

“The Russian Olympic Committee will submit a proposed musical score to be played for all ceremonies,” the IOC said.

“This musical score will be subject to the IOC Executive Board’s approval.”

Russia’s doping woes have snowballed since a 2015 report commissioned by WADA found evidence of mass doping among the country’s track and field athletes.

A number of Russian athletes were sidelined during the past two Olympics and the country was deprived of its flag at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games as punishment for state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Sochi Games in southern Russia.

Russia, which has in the past acknowledged some shortcomings in its implementation of anti-doping policies, denies running a state-sponsored doping program.

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