The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has asked Chinese authorities for a report after two athletes displayed on the podium a badge bearing the image of former communist leader Mao Zedong.
On August 2, Chinese track cyclists Bao Shanju and Zhong Tianshi stepped onto the team sprint podium at the Tokyo Olympics wearing a badge depicting former leader Mao Zedong, who chaired the Chinese Communist Party from 1943 when he died in 1976. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) asked the Chinese authorities for a report on the reasons behind this gesture.
“We contacted the Chinese Olympic Committee and asked them for a report on the situation […] We are looking into the matter, ”said IOC spokesperson Mark Adams, whose comments are reported by The team. By wearing this small golden badge representing Mao Zedong in profile during the medal ceremony, the two athletes would indeed have violated the Olympic rules relating to the display of political signs or symbols.
In early July, the IOC allowed athletes to express their political views at press conferences or on social media, but expressly prohibited doing the same at ceremonies.