Olympics: IOC to maintain ban on protests
IOC president Thomas Bach says changes to the rules would only be made after the IOC Athletes Commission had held discussions with athletes
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 10/06/20 5:18pm
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed that athletes are still banned from protesting, after several sports moved to allow protests in the wake of George Floyd's death.
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Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter states "no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas".
Athletes who breach the rule are subject to discipline on a case-by-case basis and the IOC issued guidelines in January clarifying that banned protests include taking a knee and other gestures.
The IOC has said: "The guidelines drawn up by the athletes remain in place but we will not speculate on hypothetical cases thirteen months before the Olympic Games.
"Any issues in the future would be as ever dealt with on a case by case basis."
IOC president Thomas Bach was later asked about the matter and he insisted any changes to their rules would be made following discussions with athletes.
"We have fully supported the initiative for the IOC Athletes Commission to have dialogue with athletes around the world to explore different ways for how Olympic athletes can express their support for the principles enshrined in the Olympic charter in a dignified way," he said.
"We also agree with the Athletes Commission that we must always respect the Olympic spirit.
"This means we must make a difference between such support for the principles enshrined in the Olympic charter and potentially divisive demonstrations."
When pressed on the issue, Bach added: "I will not pre-empt in any way this consultation the Athletes Commission will have.
"It would not be fair if now I make a statement and they are giving directions or instructions in this respect.
"Let the Athletes Commission and the athletes discuss it themselves and then come up with the relevant proposals."
Floyd's death has sparked worldwide protests against racial injustice, with several footballers in the Bundesliga delivering their own messages of support during games. FIFA has since asked competition organisers to use "common sense" regarding protests over Floyd's death.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who was widely criticized for the league's handling of Colin Kaepernick's kneeling protests in 2016, said on Friday the NFL had made mistakes in not listening to players and encouraged them to speak out and "peacefully protest".