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No flag, anthem or name? Russia rebranding for the Olympics

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Russia has had a bad name at the Olympics over its long running doping saga, so the country has decided on a rebrand

Athletes competing in the 2020 Tokyo Games won’t be competing under the Russian flag’s national colours, but instead they’ll be part of the Russian Olympic Committee.

How has it changed from the 2018 winter olympics?

The new rules — are an evolution of the “OAR” restrictions used at the 2018 Winter Olympics 

You won’t see the Russian flag above any podiums but the national colours are on the uniforms.

Officially the athletes will represent not their country, but the ROC, and Russia’s name, flag and anthem are banned.

Russian red, white and blue on uniforms are fine — the blocks of colour on the official tracksuits form one big flag — but not the word “Russia,” the flag itself or other national symbols. 

Doping cases old and new still cast a shadow over the team. Two swimmers from the Tokyo team have been suspended for cases dating back years.

Despite the name change, Russia will have a nearly full team at the Olympics.

Official Olympic paperwork and TV graphics will attribute Russian results to “ROC” but won’t spell out the Russian Olympic Committee’s name in full.

Gold medalists will get music by Russian composer Tchaikovsky instead of the country’s national anthem.

Russia is sending more than 330 athletes to Tokyo, with the exact number still unclear

Sport

Update on Brittney Griner’s Moscow appeal

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A Moscow regional court has officially set an appeal date of October 25 for American basketball star Brittney Griner

Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia for smuggling drugs into the country, arrested with less than 1 gram of cannabis oil in her luggage at Moscow’s International Airport back in February.

Details about the appeal hearing have not been released,

It is expected Griner’s team will argue she did not know the cannabis oil was illegal in Russia and that she was only carrying a small amount for personal use.

There have also been rumours that the U.S. is negotiating a prisoner swap with Russia, but it is not clear if Griner is part of those negotiations.

The U.S. has not confirmed or denied the rumours.

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Vigil held for the 125 people killed in stadium disaster

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Vigil held for the 125 people killed in Indonesia’s stadium disaster, as the nation mourns

Vigil held for the 125 people have been killed in a crush and riot at a soccer match in Indonesia.

Authorities believe it is one of the world’s worst stadium disasters. Now, the nation stops to mourn the lives that have been lost.

The tragedy unfolded in Malang, in the province of East Java. It followed home side Arema FC loosing 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya.

East Java police chief Nico Afinta said frustrated Arema supporters invaded the pitch.

Officers responded by firing tear gas in an attempt to control the situation, triggering the crush and cases of suffocation.

Afinta claimed officers had been attacked and cars damaged. He said the crush happened when fans fled for an exit gate.

300 were injured, including 22-year-old Muhammad Rian Dwicahyono who said many friends had lost their lives “because of officers who dehumanized us”.

The head of one of the hospitals in the area treating patients told Metro TV that some of the victims had sustained brain injuries and that the fatalities included a five-year-old child.

On Sunday, Malang residents gathered outside the stadium to lay flowers.

As investigations continue, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has ordered the Football Association of Indonesia to suspend all games in the top league.

World soccer’s governing body FIFA has requested a report on the incident from Indonesia’s PSSI soccer association.

FIFA’s safety regulations say no firearms or “crowd control gas” should be carried or used by stewards or police.

East Java police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether they were aware of such regulations.

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Crypto.com scraps $495m deal with UEFA Champions League

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Cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com has cancelled a five-year sponsorship deal worth $495million with the UEFA Champions League

Major cryptocurrency exchange platform Crypto.com has officially scrapped its deal with the UEFA Champions League.

The in-principle deal would have seen the crypto company take over as the sponsor from Russian state-owned energy company, Gazprom.

Gazprom’s contract was cancelled in March, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Crypto.com scrapped the deal because of regulatory concerns in the U.K, France and Italy.

The crypto exchange has previously been involved in sports advertising over the past year, with sponsorship into Formula One and the naming rights deal for the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.

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