Russians to be Serenaded by Tchaikovsky Music at Olympics After Anthem Ban

Russian Olympic medal winners in Tokyo this year and at the 2022 Beijing Games will be serenaded by Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s music, the country’s Olympic committee said on Thursday, as their national anthem is banned because of doping offenses.Russian athletes are barred from competing at major international events, including the Olympics, under the country’s flag and with their anthem until 2022 following a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) late last year.Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a gala concert of the winners of the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition in the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in Moscow, July 2, 2015.The ban was designed to punish Moscow for providing global anti-doping authorities with doctored laboratory data that could have helped identify drug cheats.Stanislav Pozdnyakov, president of Russia’s Olympic Committee (ROC), said in a statement that the music used at medal ceremonies for Russians competing as representatives of ROC will be a fragment of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1.”As of today, our Olympic team has all the elements of its identity,” said Pozdnyakov, a five-time Olympic medalist in fencing.”We have the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee with the colors of our tricolor, our official equipment — easily recognizable for both our compatriots and fans from other countries — without any inscriptions. And now we have a musical accompaniment.”In its guidelines on the implementation of the CAS ruling, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed that Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 will be played for all ceremonies.Many Russian athletes were sidelined from the past two Olympics, and the country’s flag was banned at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games as punishment for state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Sochi Games.Russia, which has in the past acknowledged some shortcomings in its implementation of anti-doping policies, denies running a state-sponsored doping program.

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