The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has acknowledged receiving an open letter calling for amendments to the IOC rule that threatens to punish athletes for protesting or demonstrating on the medal podiums at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The IOC issued a statement saying it was sticking to the organization’s recent amendment that relaxed previous guidelines to allow certain forms of protest expression – but not on medal podiums, ceremonies and during the game. .
Their full statement reads as follows:
“The IOC acknowledges receipt of the letter. After a global consultation, involving 3,500 athletes from 185 NOCs, the IOC Athletes’ Commission (IOC Board of Directors) presented a series of recommendations concerning Rule 50.2 of the Olympic Charter and the expression of athletes at the Olympic Games. Rule 50.2 provides a framework to protect the neutrality of sport and the Olympic Games. While calling for more opportunities for athletes to express themselves during the Olympic Games, athlete representatives from around the world expressed their support for keeping the podium, the playing field and the ceremonies free from any form of protest. The IOC Executive Board (IOC EB) accepted all recommendations. Details on the process and the results can be found here. As part of the implementation of the recommendations of the IOC Board of Directors, the EB subsequently approved revised Rule 50.2 Guidelines for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, which extends the possibilities of expression of athletes in Tokyo. “
A little background: American hammer thrower Gwen Berry, along with famous 1968 medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos, are three of more than 150 athletes, human rights and social justice experts and sports organizations who co-signed a letter Thursday open to high-ranking members of the International Olympic Committee, calling for amendments to the IOC rule that threatens to punish athletes for protesting or demonstrating on medal podiums at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The letter calls on the IOC to “refrain from imposing sanctions on athletes who protest and demonstrate in accordance with internationally recognized human rights frameworks… at all venues, Olympic or Paralympic venues, including the podium” for them. Tokyo and Beijing Games. .
After a 10-month consultation process with more than 3,500 athletes representing 185 different National Olympic Committees and the 41 Olympic sports, the IOC decided to maintain the rule 50 protest ban in April. On July 2, the IOC amended Rule 50 by adding Section 50.2, which relaxed previous guidelines, allowing athletes to express their views in mixed areas, at press conferences, in interviews, as well as before the start of the competition.
You can read more about it here.