The ROC will recommended that its participants at Beijing 2022 are vaccinated against COVID-19 ©Getty Images

Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) President Stanislav Pozdnyakov has said the organisation will recommend that its travelling contingent for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games are vaccinated against COVID-19 - but it will not be mandatory.

As per the Russian state news agency TASS, Pozdnyakov explained that the ROC was in conversations with National Federations over the best ways to encourage vaccinations to ensure that preparations for the Games run smoothly.

This could include athletes becoming fully inoculated or receiving booster jabs.

But unlike some other National Olympic Committees, notably the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, Pozdnyakov indicated the ROC will stop short of making inoculation mandatory.

"The revaccination will be recommended for all our athletes," Pozdnyakov said.

"This cannot disrupt our plans to prepare for the main competitions in Beijing.

"We are persistently and delicately discussing this with our federations.

"We have clearly passed the preparatory stage for Tokyo, and this is an example for our winter federations."

Just over 28 per cent of Russia's population of more than 144 million have been fully vaccinated.

Vaccinations were voluntary for ROC athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.

ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov said the body was in dialogue with National Federations over vaccinations against COVID-19 ©Getty Images
ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov said the body was in dialogue with National Federations over vaccinations against COVID-19 ©Getty Images

As they did at Tokyo 2020, "neutral" Russian athletes will compete at Beijing 2022 as the ROC as part of sanctions imposed on the country over its "cover-up of the cover-up" and manipulation of data at the Moscow Laboratory.

Russia's name, flag and anthem have been banned from World Championship and Olympic events for two years from December 2020.

The World Anti-Doping Agency initially imposed four-year sanctions, but these were halved by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Russian Government officials are also banned from the Olympics unless invited by the hosts' head of state.

Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, is expected to attend Beijing 2022 after receiving an invitation from his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

The first playbooks for Beijing 2022 are set to be released next month, and similarly to those for Tokyo 2020 will provide a set of rules for all participants to adhere to.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will offer jabs to participating athletes under a similar programme to that at Tokyo 2020, but has not indicated that these will be mandatory.

IOC President Thomas Bach recently claimed that the organisation and organisers in China were "sparing no effort to make these Olympic Winter Games safe and secure for everyone."