Lausanne [Switzerland], July 3 (ANI): Athletes at Tokyo 2020 will now be allowed to "express their views" before and after competing -- but not on the podium -- as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) released new guidelines on Friday.
"As part of the implementation of the IOC Athletes' Commission's recommendations, the Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has approved the Rule 50.2 Guidelines for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020," a release by IOC stated.
These Guidelines, which were presented to the EB by Kirsty Coventry, Chair of the IOC Athletes' Commission (IOC AC), provide athletes and other Games participants with guidance on the implementation of Rule 50.2 of the Olympic Charter, which is aimed at preserving the protection of the neutrality of sport at the Olympic Games and the neutrality of the Games themselves.
The new version of the IOC Guidelines provides further clarity and guidance to athletes competing in Tokyo this summer on the wide range of opportunities available to them to express their views, including on the Field of Play prior to the start of the competition.
The guidelines further state that: "When expressing their views, athletes are expected to respect the applicable laws, the Olympic values and their fellow athletes. It should be recognised that any behaviour and/or expression that constitutes or signals discrimination, hatred, hostility or the potential for violence on any basis whatsoever is contrary to the Fundamental Principles of Olympism."
Additionally, the Guidelines describe the disciplinary procedure that would apply in the event that the conditions stated above were not to be respected. The evaluation of cases and the determination of potential disciplinary consequences will be handled by the IOC in full transparency.
"The new guidelines are a result of our extensive consultation with the global athletes' community," said IOC AC Chair Kirsty Coventry. "While the guidelines offer new opportunities for athletes to express themselves prior to the competition, they preserve the competitions on the Field of Play, the ceremonies, the victory ceremonies and the Olympic Village. This was the wish of a big majority of athletes in our global consultation."
Rule 50.2 of the Olympic Charter provides for the protection of the neutrality of sport at the Olympic Games and the neutrality of the Games themselves. It states that, "No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas." (ANI)