Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin has backed the campaign for Katyusha to be played at the Olympics ©Getty Images

Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin has supported a proposal put forward by the Russian Olympic Committee Athletes' Commission to replace the country's national anthem at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with the song Katyusha.

The ROC Athletes Commission earlier this week suggested the song be used instead of the national anthem, which is banned from Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022.

The ban on the anthem is part of the sanctions imposed on Russia by the World Anti-Doping Agency for its manipulation of the Moscow Laboratory data.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) halved the sanctions given to the nation from four years to two, despite criticising the "cover-up of the cover-up" carried out by Russian officials.

Russia must compete under a neutral flag at Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 and athletes from the country will not take part as Russia at the Paralympics or World Championships within the period.

Speaking to Russian's official state news agency TASS, Matytsin backed the folk song to replace the anthem.

"I have great respect for Katyusha, it has a very long tradition in the Soviet Union, in Russia," said Matytsin, also President of the International University Sports Federation.

"It is known all over the world and its associated with our country.

"This opinion was expressed by the athletes, of course, I respect this, we will support this."

Olympic fencing champion Sophia Velikaya, head of the ROC Athletes’ Commission, said the body has put forward Katyusha for consideration to replace the national anthem.

Katyusha became a popular song in the country during the Second World War, with its story reflecting the situation of the Soviet soldiers who left their wives and partners.

Its regarded as a patriotic song in Russia, with its theme calling on its soldiers to protect the Motherland.

ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov last month suggested that a folk song could be used for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The decision over what anthem is used at the Olympics will be down to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and not Russia.

Russian ice hockey players at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics sung the banned national anthem after winning the Olympic gold medal as the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR).

The Olympic Anthem was used for Russian victories at the Games.

The OAR team was created following the suspension of the ROC due to the nation's doping scandal, which the IOC lifted three days after the conclusion of Pyeongchang 2018.