What Does ROC Stand for at the Olympics?
Watching the Olympics game can test the fans’ geography knowledge as much as their sporting expertise.
If you have tried and failed to figure out which country ROC stands for at the Tokyo Olympics , don’t beat
yourself up as your geography knowledge hasn’t let you down.
ROC is the acronym for Russian Olympic Committee. It allows Russian athletes to compete at the Olympics,
despite the fact their country is currently serving a two-year ban for major and repeated doping offenses.
What does ROC stand for in the Olympics?
ROC stands for Russian Olympic Committee, a loophole through which Russian athletes are allowed to compete
at the Games even though they can’t represent their own country, which has been banned from major sporting
events since 2019.
Russian athletes who can prove they weren’t linked with the state-sponsored doping scandal and that they have
remained clean have been granted permission to compete at the Games under the Russian Olympic Committee
Why is Russia called ROC in the Olympics?
Because the country can’t compete or be represented at major international sporting events until the end of
2022. That means the Russian flag isn’t flown in Tokyo and the Russian national anthem won’t be played when a
Russian athlete wins a gold medal.
Instead, the ROC flag—which features the Olympic rings and the colors of the Russian flag—will be flown and
Russian gold medalists will be serenaded by a snippet of a Tchaikovsky piece. Team uniforms are allowed to
contain the word “Russian,” but only with “neutral athlete” as follow up, to clarify the athlete isn’t representing
While unusual, the arrangement isn’t a first in Olympic history. At the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang,
South Korea, 168 Russian athletes were allowed to compete as neutrals under the special IOC designation of
“Olympic Athletes from Russia,” provided they met a series of anti-doping requirements.
Several of the countries that boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics, meanwhile, allowed athletes to compete at
the Games under the Olympic flag if they chose to do so.
“For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport. Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its
house in order and re-join the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of
sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial,” WADA President Sir Craig Reedy
said when the punishment was handed out in December 2019.