Olympic podium protests banned in Tokyo, Beijing

Sports | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 23 Apr 2021

Athletes will be banned from protesting on podiums and the field of play at the Tokyo Olympics and Beijing Winter Games after recommendations from the athletes' commission.

More than two-thirds of 3,547 athletes polled said it is "not appropriate to demonstrate or express their views" on the victory podium, field of play or at official ceremonies, the International Olympic Committee said.

The recommendation, one of several adopted by the IOC executive board, follows calls to relax Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter, which bans any "demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda" at Olympic sites.

Any repeat of Tommie Smith and John Carlos' black power salute at the Mexico 1968 Games, one of the most enduring Olympic images, could now face punishment, although possible sanctions are yet to be determined.

"The respondents were most likely to believe it appropriate for athletes to demonstrate or express their individual views in the media, in press conferences and in the mixed zones," the IOC said.

Among other recommendations, the Olympic oath will be adapted to pledge inclusion and non-discrimination, and clothing with words such as "peace", "solidarity" and "equality" will be given to athletes.

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