TOKYO 2020 organisers have been forced to apologise after accidentally referring to Ukrainian medallists as being from Russia.

Duo Marta Fiedina and Anastasiya Savchuk took bronze in the artistic swimming competition, but were announced on the podium as representing ROC, the acronym for the Russian Olympic Committee.

Organising committee spokesman Masa Tanaka his since apologised.

Announcements at Olympic venues are typically done in Japanese, English and French, which is the home language of the modern Olympic movement.

He said: ““It was purely an operational mistake.

“The French language calling out (of medallists) should have said Team Ukraine, however it said ROC instead

“Of course, people noticed and the person in charge of announcements apologised.

“I also used this opportunity to express my apology to those who are in the Ukrainian team.”

The error comes after years of diplomatic tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

The Ukrainian region of Crimea was annexed by Russia in 2014. More than seven years after the annexation, Crimea is still recognized as Ukrainian territory in international law.

As The Guardian reports, European football rules have prevented Ukrainian and Russian national and club teams from being drawn to play against each other for security reasons since 2014.

Olympic athletes from the two countries, however, routinely compete in the same events.