On January 14, Russian athletes will begin to actually comply with the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regarding performance in neutral status at major competitions.
These sanctions, which were the result of the withdrawal of the compliance status by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), came into force in December, but began to work only now, when the first global tournament since that time started - the men's world handball championship in Egypt.
Each international federation must determine for itself how, in practice, Russians will observe neutral status, which symbols and inscriptions can be shown to them and which cannot, as well as what music will be played instead of the Russian anthem at award ceremonies and other cases stipulated by the protocol.
In the case of handball players, they will be represented on the world stage as the national team of the Russian Handball Federation, and the uniform will display the organization's logo without additional inscriptions.
From January to March, there will also be several world championships in winter sports, and at each of them Russian teams will also have to comply with the requirements set by WADA.
However, not all federations have so far decided on the criteria that participants from Russia will have to meet.
So, already on January 29, the Luge World Cup starts, but the International Luge Federation (FIL) has not yet drawn up instructions on the flag and anthem for the Russian team, which will defend titles in five disciplines.
The International Skating Union (ISU) is also slow to approve the criteria, so the Russian Skating Union sent its proposals to the parent organization.
The executive director of the organization, Varvara Barysheva, noted that skaters can maintain neutral status in the same way as handball players will.
“The issue of the flag is being negotiated with the International Federation.
We are also coordinating the design of jumpsuits with the Russian Olympic Committee and ISU.
There is no final decision yet, we have sent our layouts, we are waiting for an answer, '' Barysheva told TASS.
- The flag contains the logo of the Russian Skating Union.
We were asked to use the anthem of the international federation as an anthem.
ISU is inclined to repeat the practice of the International Handball Federation, but, again, there is no final decision yet ”.
Olga Fatkulina has already shown the neutral form of the skaters to the fans.
The current vice-champion of the world in the 500-meter and in the team sprint posted photos on Instagram in red and dark gray equipment.
She accompanied the pictures with the inscription "I am both funny and sad."
For bobsledders and skeletonists, the rules for performing at the World Championships in Altenberg have already been determined.
According to the General Secretary of the Russian Bobsleigh Federation Sergei Parkhomenko, the athletes will perform under the flag of the national federation.
If one of them wins, the anthem of the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) will be played at the award ceremony.
“For TV, the Russian team will be designated as BFR (Bobsleigh Federation of Russia).
As for the competition overalls, they must be approved by the international federation, "said Parkhomenko.
The rules will be different for skiers at the World Championships in Oberstdorf, which will take place from 22 February to 7 March.
Since they will compete as part of a single team along with the ski jumpers and doubles, they will not be able to represent only their own organization.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) reported that they want to oblige the Russians to speak with the word "neutral" in the name of their team.
The final version should be approved later.
“We confirm that there were various stakeholders involved in making this decision, but the original FIS proposal is that Russian athletes will compete under the FIS flag and anthem, and the team will be named Neutral - or National - Russian Athletes.
The exact wording and the final decision are expected in about a week, ”the FIS press office said on 11 January.
The question remains, in what form the Russian national biathlon team will perform at the World Championships in Pokljuka from February 10 to 21.
The Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) is not a permanent, but a temporary member of the International Biathlon Union (IBU), and this may become an obstacle for a team like bobsledders and handball players to represent their federation.
According to Sport-Express, the RBU has asked the IBU for clarification, but has not yet received a response.
Meanwhile, the Russian national bandy team (which is not part of the Olympic program) generally has a chance to avoid playing under neutral status at the home world championship in Syktyvkar.
According to Vladimir Yanko, a member of the Presidium of the National Federation, his organization has good enough relations with the International Bandy Federation to turn a blind eye to WADA's demands.
“There are no problems here. We have excellent relations with the international federation, no one will put sticks in our wheels. After all, we are not an Olympic sport, we have our own business. And our athletes in other sports, where the use of symbols and the anthem has been banned, can sing on the podium "Get up, this is a huge country." And let our “friends” think that it is better when we sing this song or the anthem of Russia, ”the functionary said.