The Tokyo Olympics might be a slightly more muted affair this year, as spectators haven’t been allowed to attend the Games in Japan.
Instead, athletes like Team GB’s Tom Daley have had to compete in virtually empty stadiums.
However, whether you’re a fan of swimming or skateboarding, you might have noticed the ROC as a competing nation.
Read on to find out exactly what the acronym means.
What is the Russian Olympic Committee?
ROC stands for Russian Olympic Committee – which is not the same as Russia’s national team.
A whopping 335 athletes are competing at Tokyo 2020 under the Olympic flag, rather than representing Russia as a country.
Russia is currently banned from competing in major sporting events, so their national anthem won’t be played at the Games, nor will their flag be seen.
Why was Russia banned from the games?
In 2019, Russia was handed a four-year ban from all major sporting events by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was found to have manipulated data handed to the global organisation.
It was previously handed a ban in 2015, for a state-sponsored doping scheme that provided athletes with performance enhancing drugs before events.
The controversial ruling was lifted after three years, but after RUSADA provided the manipulated data, a second ban was introduced.
Athletes who can prove that they haven’t taken any performance enhancing drugs have been allowed to compete under the neutral ROC flag.
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