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Russia Approves Roster of Neutral Athletes for Tokyo 2020

Russia is banned from international competitions for two years over doping violations.

Russia's Olympic Committee on Tuesday finalized a roster of 335 athletes who will compete at the rearranged Tokyo Olympics this summer under a neutral flag and anthem as long as they are clean.

Sport's highest court last year banned Russia from international competitions for two years in the latest punishment for its state-backed doping program at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

The court however allowed Russian athletes to compete at the Tokyo Games under a neutral flag and anthem if they prove no connection to doping.

On Tuesday, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, president of Russia's Olympic Committee, told journalists that the committee had approved a team of 335 athletes to send to Japan.

He added that he expected the team to improve on its fourth place medal tally at the last summer Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. 

"They have every opportunity for this," he was cited by the Russian RIA Novosti news agency as saying.

At the 2016 Rio Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved 271 Russian athletes to take part after a major doping review eliminated 118 competitors put forward by Russia.

This summer Russian athletes will be accompanied by music by composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky after the IOC in April approved it to replace Russia's national anthem.

The same month Russia unveiled flagless blue, red and white uniforms.

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