IOC approves neutral parade uniform for ‘Olympic Athletes from Russia’

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has approved the parade uniforms for ‘Olympic Athletes from Russia’ who will compete at the 2018 Winter Games, following the decision to ban Russia from participating.

The uniforms will be produced by Russian clothing company Zasport. “We have received an official letter from the IOC in which it approved our clothes collection designed for the Russian athletes who will perform under a neutral flag,” Zasport head Anastasia Zadorina told TASS on Friday.

READ MORE: Russian Olympic Committee to back athletes competing as neutrals in PyeongChang

“Our representative in Lausanne showed all the design drafts [to the IOC members] which received no criticism. We haven’t changed the kit’s fit and design, but according to the IOC’s restrictions, we have replaced Russian flag as well as coat of arms and Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) logo with OAR and ‘Olympic Athlete from Russia’ inscriptions.”

She also added that the company will have to remake part of the uniform which has already been made, adding that the uniforms will be grey, white, and red.

At the end of November, just before the IOC announced its decision to ban Russia, Zasport presented its clothing collection for the Russian Olympic team, receiving mixed reviews from critics for the rather unusual, retro look resembling styles of the 80s.

On December 5, the IOC Executive Board voted to ban the entire Russian Olympic team from the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea as the result of an investigation into Russia’s alleged state-sponsored doping program.

Russian athletes who have never been convicted of doping will, however, be granted entry into the Games as neutral athletes. Those approved by the IOC’s specially-appointed doping review panel will perform without national emblems, under the title ‘Olympic Athlete from Russia.’

READ MORE: Russian Olympic Committee banned from 2018 Winter Games, athletes allowed to compete as neutrals

Earlier this month, the IOC released a set of requirements for neutral uniforms, stressing that no indication of Russia should be included. It also noted that the word ‘Russia’ should be the same size as the words ‘Olympic Athlete from,’ and that all national emblems, including flag and double-headed eagle – the country’s coat of arms – must be replaced with the neutral ‘OAR’ logo.

One of the requirements stipulated by the IOC is that the Olympic uniform should be made in single or dual colors, which should not necessarily coincide with the colors of the Russian national flag.

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