No flag, no anthem: Why are Russian symbols banned from the Beijing Olympics?


Russian athletes will again be competing without their nation’s flag and anthem at the Beijing Winter Olympics

Russia is sending a delegation of several hundred athletes and support staff to the Beijing Winter Olympics this month, but they will do so without the recognition of the country’s flag and anthem.

Just as at the Tokyo Summer Games back in August of last year, Russian Olympians will have to make do without patriotic symbols to accompany them in their quest for medal glory in the Chinese capital.

Any Russian athletes topping the podium in Beijing will not be draped in the tricolor of their nation’s flag, or be treated to the stirring strains of the Russian national anthem.

Instead, the Games will pass off in another grey zone of neutrality for Russian stars.

Here, we explain why that is the case.

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