Tchaikovsky to replace Russian anthem at Tokyo Olympics
Russian athletes in Tokyo will hear Pyotr Tchaikovsky's concerto for piano and orchestra no. 1 rather than their national anthem Toshifumi KITAMURA AFP/File

Music by composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky will replace Russia's national anthem at this summer's Tokyo Olympics and the Beijing Olympics in 2022, the country's Olympic Committee said on Thursday.

"The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has notified the Russian Olympic Committee that a fragment from Pyotr Tchaikovsky's concerto for piano and orchestra no. 1 had been approved," it said in a statement.

Russian athletes are banned from taking part in major international events with their anthem and under their flag until 2020 following a decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last year.

Russian competitors also need to wear neutral clothing, and last week Russia unveiled the blue, red and white uniforms that the country's athletes will be wearing at the Tokyo Olympics.

"The difficult process of agreeing everything with the International Olympic Committee has been completed," Stanislav Pozdnyakov, president of Russia's Olympic Committee, said in the statement.

Tchaikovsky originally wrote the concerto in 1874 before revising it in 1888.

It was used during the final leg of the Olympic torch relay during the opening ceremony of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow and featured in the closing ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

© 2021 AFP