Tokyo Olympics: IOC President Thomas Bach warns athletes against ‘political demonstrations’ on podiums

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FILE PHOTO: Thomas Bach, President of the Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) attends an interview after the choice to postpone the Tokyo 2020 due to the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) outbreak, in Lausanne, Switzerland, March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photograph

Tokyo Olympics:  Athletes shouldn’t make “political demonstrations” or categorical their personal views on the medal podium on the Tokyo Video games, the Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach mentioned on Friday.

The IOC this month relaxed its Rule 50, which had beforehand forbidden athletes from any protests however now permits them to make gestures on the sector, offered they accomplish that with out disruption and with respect for fellow opponents.

Nevertheless, there may be nonetheless a menace of sanctions if any protests are made on the medal podium throughout the July 23-Aug. 8 Video games.

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The rostrum and the medal ceremonies are usually not made  . . . for a political or different demonstration,” Bach informed the Monetary Instances.

“They’re made to honor the athletes and the medal winners for sporting achievement and never for his or her personal (views).

The mission is to have all the world collectively at one place and competing peacefully with one another. This you’ll by no means handle if the Video games (grew to become) divisive.

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Whereas athlete protests on the Olympics are uncommon, on the 1968 Mexico Metropolis Video games, Black U.S. sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos had been expelled after they bowed their heads and raised black-gloved fists on the rostrum to protest racial inequality.

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At Rio 2016, Ethiopian marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa raised his arms and crossed his wrists when crossing the end line to point out help for his Oromo tribe’s protests over authorities plans to reallocate farmland.

Britain’s girls’s soccer coach Hege Riise mentioned on Thursday her gamers will take the knee earlier than matches on the Tokyo Video games to lift consciousness about racism and all types of discrimination.

The act of taking the knee is a type of protest first made by American soccer quarterback Colin Kaepernick and adopted by the Black Lives Matter motion.

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