IOC gives athletes more scope for protest at Tokyo Olympics

Athlete Protests
Posted at 7:46 PM, Jul 06, 2021

GENEVA (AP) — The IOC has finally relented to let Olympic athletes make gestures of protest in their field of play at the Tokyo Games.

It comes in a third update within 18 months of Olympic guidelines that try to limit where and how athletes express opinions at the games.

It includes for the first time greater scope within the athletes' event arena or field of play.

Protests on a medal podium will still not be accepted.

According to the Associated Press, athletes will be able to use gestures “after leaving the ‘call room’ (or similar area) or during the introduction of the individual athlete or team."

If a gesture is "targeted, directly or indirectly, against people, countries, organizations,” then athletes could face disciplinary action, the AP reported.

The IOC said the motion shouldn't be disruptive, which includes taking away an opponent’s concentration or preparation or "by unfurling a banner or a gesture during a national anthem," the AP reported.

The latest guidance appears to give athletes scope to copy the iconic Black Power-raised fist gestures of American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.