Russian track-and-field athletes
will have to cover up tattoos containing Russian symbolism and switch off their
Russian anthem ringtones when they compete at the world athletics championships
in August, the TASS state news agency reported on Tuesday.

“The rules are extremely
harsh. You’re not allowed to have [Russian symbols on] uniforms, bags, makeup, hair
bands, or bracelets,” champion hurdler Sergei Shubenkov was cited as saying.
“Even tattoos will be covered with scotch tape. An anthem as a ringtone is also
not allowed.”

The International Association
of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspended the membership of the Russian
Athletics Federation in November 2015 when the country’s national team was
accused of systematic doping.

But while the Russian
athletics federation remains barred from the international body, 19 Russian
athletes were cleared to compete in London at the biannual world championships
in August under a neutral flag, provided they do not to display any signs that
associate them with their home country.

“It sounds stupid, but it
follows the logic of the International Association of Athletics Federations,”
Shubenkov said. “According to them, Russia should not exist in international
athletics.”

Russian Sports Minister Pavel
Kolobkov has earlier said that Russia’s membership in the IAAF could be
restored by the start of 2018. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will hold a
monitoring visit to Russian facilities in September, which is expected to
influence the final decision.