Speed Reads

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How Russia is skirting ban on nationality markers at Olympics

Key identifying markers associated with Russia are banned from the 2020 Tokyo Games because of the country's doping scandal. In other words, the Russian national anthem won't be played if a Russian athlete medals in an event, and the flag isn't welcome in any capacity. 

But the Russian athletes who are in Japan still found ways to make it clear they're competing for their home country even though they're considered neutral, or at-large, participants, The Wall Street Journal reports. For starters, while they can't don the flag (or images of bears), the athletes are still wearing a common uniform kit that features red, white, and blue in an obvious nod to the Russian tricolor. The International Olympic Committee's decision to allow the uniforms has received criticism from the World Anti-Doping Agency who were hoping for a more stringent ban. 

But beyond clothing, there's a big push on social media from famous Russian influencers and athletes — including several Soviet-era ice hockey legends — to stay engaged with the Games and support the athletes. And, per the Journal, the Russian Olympic Committee has instructed its athletes to openly say they represent Russia. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.