MOSCOW, March 12. /TASS/. The flag of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) had a successful ‘trial by fire’ during the recent winter sports world championships, ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov told TASS on Friday.
Due to current sanctions of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Russian athletes are prohibited until December 2022 from participating in the world championships and Olympic Games under the national flag and to the tune of the national anthem.
This winter Russian athletes participated without the Russian flag at the world championships in luge, bobsleigh and skeleton, biathlon, cross-country skiing, speed skating, short track speed skating, freestyle ski and snowboarding.
"I am very glad for our winter sports athletes. I am following very attentively performances of our national teams," Pozdnyakov said. "Considering the fact that there is less than a year left before the start of the [Winter] Olympic Games [in China], our current results are significant in many ways."
"There was a storm of emotions during the cross-country skiing and it seems to me that the whole team and Alexander Bolshunov are in the top lines of our sports on the whole in terms of their popularity," the ROC president continued.
"Of course I was very impressed with the results in the freestyle ski and snowboarding. Our athletes have already won at this year’s World Championship 12 medals, including five gold medals, and this is an excellent result," Pozdnyakov stated.
The Russian team currently tops the overall medals standings of the 2021 FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships with 12 medals (five gold, two silver and five bronze). They are followed by Australia with two gold and one silver medals and Canada in 3rd place with two gold and one bronze medals.
The 2021 FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championship is hosted by a number of countries, namely by Sweden’s Idre, Slovenia’s Rogla, Kazakhstan’s Almaty and Aspen of the United States. Russian athletes are competing at the 2021 FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships under the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and the official name of the team is the Russian Ski Federation (RSF).
"We can say that the Russian Olympic Committee’s flag, which our teams flied [at the championships], had a successful trial by fire and there is a certain symbolism about it and it is good that it [the symbolism] is positive," the ROC president added.
2022 Winter Olympics
The 2022 Winter Olympic Games in the Chinese capital of Beijing are scheduled to be held between February 4 and 20.
During the 128th IOC session in Kuala Lumpur on July 31, 2015, Beijing was elected the host city for the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games making the Chinese capital the first city ever to host both Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games (in 2008) as well as Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games (in 2022).
Beijing won the right to host the 2022 Olympics and Paralympics in a tight race over Kazakhstan’s Almaty in 2015, eventually securing 44 votes against 40 in support of the largest Kazakh city.
Sanctions against Russian sports
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland’s Lausanne partially upheld on December 17, 2020 WADA’s (the World Anti-Doping Agency) previous ruling on a number of sanctions against Russian sports.
According to the CAS decision, Russian athletes were deprived of their right to participate in all World Championships, Olympic and Paralympic Games under the national flag of Russia for the two-year period.
The national anthem of Russia was also ruled out to be played at international sports tournaments in the course of the next two years, including at the upcoming Olympic Games in Japan this summer.
The ruling of the Swiss-based court also stripped Russia of the right to bid for the organization of all international sports tournaments for the period of two years. WADA’s sanctions will be in force until December 2022.