— Stephen Wade (@StephenWadeAP) January 9, 2020
Because ‘banning Russian participation‘ while permitting Russian athletes to participate has already done so much to quiet controversy, the elderly greedheads in charge of window-dressing the Olympics has laid down its markers to soothe the other authoritarian regimes. Per the Guardian:
Politicians and athletes should keep politics out of this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games to protect the event’s neutrality and its status as a peaceful meeting place, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has said.
The Games have seen both political protests by athletes in the past as well as boycotts of nations and Bach said any infusion of politics into the Games in Tokyo starting on 24 July would not be welcome.
The IOC’s guidelines specify which types of athlete protests will not be allowed. Athletes are prohibited by the Olympic Charter’s Rule 50 from taking a political stand in the field of play – like the raised fists by American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico City Games.
Today’s Olympians now know more about which acts of “divisive disruption” will lead to disciplinary action in Tokyo. They can still express political opinions in official media settings or on social media accounts.
“The mission of the Olympics is to unite and not to divide. We are the only event in the world that gets the entire world together in a peaceful competition,” Bach told reporters after a meeting with the IOC athletes’ commission chief Kirsty Coventry…
Athletes who break protest rules in Tokyo face three rounds of disciplinary action – by the IOC, a sport’s governing body and a national Olympic body.
The new guidelines come after two American athletes were reprimanded by the US Olympic Committee for medal podium protests at the Pan-American Games in August in Lima, Peru. Fencer Race Imboden kneeled and hammer thrower Gwen Berry raised a fist in protest. Both were put on probation for 12 months, a period that covers the Tokyo Olympics.
Other protests in 2019 included swimmers from Australia and Britain refusing to join world championship gold medallist Sun Yang on the podium because the Chinese star has been implicated in doping violations…
Actually, I suppose the highlighted section, exempting ‘official media settings’ and social media accounts, could actually be considered a positive step… if the IOC keeps its word.
As someone already noted, curbing athletes’ free speech rights is itself a political act by IOC. https://t.co/Z9GSDN46LO
— Stephen Wade (@StephenWadeAP) January 10, 2020
?? lawwwwd almighty, I’d be tempted to say this is a surprise but let’s not forget that sport is so ‘neutral’ they let Hitler and NAZI Germany host the Summer Olympics in 1936… actual Nazi Germany fam. https://t.co/DHvQL0qK3b
— Amy Thunig (@AmyThunig) January 10, 2020