Russia chooses neutral gray for Winter Olympians


MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian competitors at next month’s Winter Olympics will be kitted out in predominantly gray uniforms with no national markings, in keeping with their status as neutral athletes after the national team was barred over doping allegations.

Unveiling sketches of the competitors’ uniforms on Thursday, the official clothing supplier to the Russian Olympic Committee said they would carry a logo with the words “Olympic Athlete from Russia”.

“The neutral uniform comprises no symbols — the flag or crest — of the Russian Federation,” supplier ZASPORT said in a statement, adding that the uniform complied with rules laid down by the International Olympic Committee.

The IOC banned Russia from the Games in South Korea for what it said was “unprecedented systematic manipulation” of the anti-doping system. Russia denies the allegations.

However, the IOC left the door open for Russian athletes with a clean doping history to be invited to compete as neutrals under an Olympic flag. Russia’s sports authorities decided to support competitors who take up the IOC invitation.

Reporting by Parniyan Zemaryalai; Editing by Christian Lowe and David Goodman

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