Russia's Bosco to ask for brand to be covered on IOC officials' clothing
Bosco, the Russian sportswear company that is due to outfit International Olympic Committee officials from next year, is to ask that its brand does not appear at February’s winter Olympic Games, in which Russian athletes will compete as neutrals in the wake of the major doping scandal that has swept Russian sport over the last two years.
Mikhail Kusnirovich (pictured), board head for the group, told Reuters: “I think that in the near future, I will come up with a proposal to the IOC... to deactivate our rights... Even such beautiful chic clothes - let them keep them, but the Bosco brand and what we own... I will ask for that not to be activated.”
Earlier this month, the IOC suspended the Russian Olympic Committee. Kusnirovich said that Bosco is disappointed that a Russian team will not compete in PyeongChang, adding: “We are doing this to be proud of ourselves, so that we’d be happy...
“That’s why I’ve taken the decision today not to enable [the brand to be used] and [to] drop the activation of our sponsorship rights until the national Olympic committee of Russia gets its accreditation back and its rights are restored.”
Separately, Kusnirovich told Tass: “We are ready to offer the IOC all possible technical assistance to conceal our logo” from the outfits already supplied.
Meanwhile, official uniforms for Russian athletes competing as neutrals in PyeongChang have been submitted to the IOC for its approval, according to Anastasia Zadorina, the head of Moscow-based sportswear brand ZA Sport, the official designer of the kits.
Earlier this week, the IOC stipulated that no “national identifications design elements” will be allowed to feature in the uniforms of the so-called ‘Olympic Athletes from Russia’ at the winter Olympics, while the colours used must not be in exactly the same pantone as those used in the Russian Federation flag.
The stipulations were among 13 principles contained in guidelines issued by the IOC’s ‘Olympic Athlete from Russia Implementation Group’, relating to the design of uniforms, accessories and equipment for Russian athletes competing as neutrals at the games.
The intent of the guidelines is, so far as possible, to limit identification of the individual athletes as a national team. Thus, one of the guidelines restricts the suspended Russian Olympic Committee from using three colours in separate items of clothing to create the red, white and blue of the Russian tricolour flag.
The guidelines follow the IOC’s ruling that selected ‘clean’ Russian athletes can compete at the games, but only under the name ‘Olympic Athlete from Russia’, wearing uniforms bearing this name, and competing under the Olympic flag, with the Olympic anthem to be played at any ceremony.