The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has confirmed that all athlete protests are banned from the podium and pool deck during the Tokyo Olympics.
The IOC has previously relaxed the controversial Rule 50 which governs athlete protests at the Games so that athletes can now demonstrate when they are introduced to the crowd or leaving the call room. Podiums are banned from protest under Rule 50 and FINA has said “Athletes have the right to the privacy of the moment, to remain free of unnecessary distraction from the competition and preparation, with the pool deck remaining a sanctity for sport and nothing else. The pool deck is and must always remain a place of friendship and respect for the greater whole, not the individual. The same level of respect should be given to the podium. This moment celebrates the accomplishments of individuals/teams, their support teams, coaches, families and nations, who each and all deserve to cherish that moment without interference. It is a moment that commands respect and triumph for sporting results and should not be remembered by individual expression.”
FINA has said athletes can demonstrate in mixed zones, at press conferences, in interviews and on social media with the governing body previously warning Britain’s Duncan Scott and Australia’s Mack Horton when they refused to share a podium with China’s Sun Yang who was facing a doping charge and was later banned for the doping offence. The Athlete’s village, podium, opening and closing ceremonies are still off limits for demonstrations although many have called for a complete abolition of Rule 50.