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Russian bobsledders’ uniform color and design raise IOC red flag

December 25, 2017, 16:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian Bobsleigh Federation has already altered the design of uniforms and sports gear, which must comply with the so-called neutral status of Russian athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics

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Russian bobsledders at the 22nd Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, 2014

Russian bobsledders at the 22nd Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, 2014

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, December 25. /TASS/. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) asked the Russian Bobsleigh Federation to change the color of national team’s bobsleds from red to burgundy as well as to change the design on athletes’ uniforms, Sergey Parkhomenko, the general secretary of the country’s governing bobsleigh organization, told TASS on Monday.

"The IOC made some remarks about our uniform’s design," Parkhomenko said in an interview with TASS. "For instance, international sports officials spotted some sort of Russian national motives in the twirls of the design imprinted on uniforms."

"We have been also asked not to use such a red hue on our bobsleds because (the tinge) is as red as the stripe on the Russian national flag," Parkhomenko said. "This is why we will decorate them in a bit of a burgundy color."

The Russian Bobsleigh Federation has already altered the design of uniforms and sports gear, which must comply with the so-called neutral status of Russian athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

The proposed adjustments were sent to the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), which in turn would send them to the IOC for final approval.

The IOC Executive Board announced its decision on December 5 to suspend the whole Russian national team from taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang over multiple doping abuse allegations.

The IOC, however, stated that doping-free athletes from Russia might go to the 2018 Olympic Games under the classification of neutral athletes, or the OAR status, which stands for "Olympic Athlete from Russia." The IOC reserved the right to determine the Russian athletes, who will have the right to go to 2018 PyeongChang under the neutral status.

The upcoming Olympics, which are 23rd Winter Games, will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018.

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