Olympic Games protest rules relaxed for Tokyo Games

TOKYO: Tokyo 2020 athletes will be allowed to “express their views” before and after the competition – but not on the podium – after Olympic Games chiefs relaxed some of the protest rules at the event.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday released new guidelines relaxing a long-standing ban on political demonstrations at the Games.

This means that athletes will now be allowed to kneel before the start of the game to highlight racial injustice, speak to the media and post their opinions online, or wear clothing with a protest slogan at a conference. hurry.

But political statements at events, victory ceremonies and in the Olympic Village are still not an option, the IOC said.

Demonstrations should not be “targeted, directly or indirectly, against people, countries, organizations and / or their dignity,” said the sports body in a statement.

They also cannot be “disruptive” to other competitors, such as displaying a flag during a team presentation.

“The new guidelines are the result of our extensive consultation with the global athlete community,” said Kirsty Coventry, IOC Athletes’ Commission Chairperson, in a statement.

“While the guidelines provide new opportunities for athletes to express themselves before competition, they preserve competition on the playing field, ceremonies, victory ceremonies and the Olympic Village.

“That was the wish of a large majority of athletes during our global consultation.”

It follows calls to relax rule 50.2 of the Olympic Charter, which reads: “No kind of political, religious or racial demonstration or propaganda is allowed at any Olympic venues, venues or other areas.”

The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee had previously pledged not to sanction US athletes for “respectful” protests for racial and social justice at the Tokyo Games.

China, which will host the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, has come under scrutiny and calls for boycott on several issues, including the mass internment and other repression of Uyghur Muslims in the country. Xinjiang and the repression of freedoms in Hong Kong. – AFP

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