IOC asks China for report on athletes wearing Mao badges

Tokyo, Aug 3 (EFE).- The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Monday that it has asked China for explanations after two Chinese athletes appeared on the podium sporting badges displaying former Chinese leader Mao Zedong’s image.

“We have contacted the Chinese Olympic Committee, asked them for a report about the situation,” IOC spokesperson Mark Adams said at the daily news conference at the Tokyo Games when asked about the matter.

Cyclists Zhong Tianshi and Bao Shanju, who won gold in the women’s team sprint final on Monday, appeared on the podium at the awards ceremony wearing badges featuring the head of the founding father of the People’s Republic of China and its first leader.

The Olympic charter prohibits political displays by athletes on the podium, stadiums and ceremonies of the Olympic Games along with any kind of demonstration or religious or racial propaganda.

However, the IOC recently relaxed the rule to allow athletes to express themselves on matters of solidarity, unity and non-discrimination in visible messages in the Village or through their clothing.

The IOC is also looking into another gesture made on the podium on Monday by American shot-putter Raven Saunders, a silver medalist, who crossed her arms over her head in an ‘X’ to represent “the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet.”

Saunders’s gesture is the Tokyo Olympics’ first podium demonstration and may be considered to be in violation of IOC’s regulations. EFE


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