Select Russian athletes invited to the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics are facing some serious uniform and logo restrictions. As many will recall, the International Olympic Committee banned Russian athletes from competing in the 2018 Olympics in December 2017 after a widespread doping scandal came to light. In one of the largest doping instances to rock the Olympics, 13 of Russia’s 33 medals were stripped during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Additionally, 43 Russian athletes were disqualified.
CBS Sports reported that Russian athletes cleared to compete will need to comply to restrictions, such as uniforms in neutral colors and a super generic logo with no discernible emphasis on the word “Russia.” More specifically, the word “Russia” must be the same font size as other uniform letterings.
NPR reported on the full list of 13 guidelines by the IOC’s Olympic Athlete from Russia Implementation Group. Below are just a few:
- Athletes’ uniforms (Ceremonies, competition, training and casual), accessories and equipment can only have two types of wordmarks: “OAR” and/or “Olympic Athlete from Russia”.
- Officials’ uniforms (Ceremonies, competition, training and casual) and accessories can only have one type of wordmark: “OAR.”
- Print size for words “Olympic Athlete from” should be equivalent to the word “Russia” and above the word “Russia.” The size of these words should be proportional to the area in which they are placed and will require individual approvals from the IOC.
- Wordmark fonts should be in English and as generic as possible.
- Only single or dual color elements are permitted on uniforms.
In addition to the restrictions, athletes won’t be able to earn Russia an official medal, nor will they be able to represent the Russian flag or colors. And since no Russian flag will be displayed or anthem will be played, athletes will compete under the Olympic flag and anthem. BBC reported that the IOC is allowing athletes to display the Russian flag in their bedrooms, “so long as it is not publicly visible.”
Commentators have been quick to criticize Russian participation despite IOC president Thomas Bach condemning the doping scandal as an “unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympics.” And just last week, a court overturned lifetime bans on 28 Russian athletes. Many are therefore left wondering, is there no such thing as accountability?
It’s a complicated issue to mull over. But if you’re in need of some Olympics news that is a bit, er, lighter, may we suggest rewatching Jimmy Ma’s DJ Snake and Lil’ Jon “Turn Down for What” routine at the U.S. Figure Skating Championship for the billionth time. You can thank us later.