Scott, Peaty Support Podium Protest Rights For Tokyo Olympics

World champions Duncan Scott and Adam Peaty both spoke out for athletes’ rights to protest on the Olympic podium as the IOC’s Rule 50 remains in the news.

The IOC (International Olympic Committee)’s Rule 50 governs athlete expression at the Olympic Games, and currently outlaws athlete protests or demonstrations in any Olympic sites or venues – that notably includes protests on the field of play and on the podium. Athletes and observers have sharply criticized the rule and called for changes. Most recently, Rule 50 came back into world headlines as the IOC Athletes Commission released their recommendations for changing the rule, but notably recommended that protests remain banned on the Olympic podium.

“In the quantitative study, a clear majority of athletes said that it is not appropriate to demonstrate or express their views on the field of play (70% of respondents), at official ceremonies (70% of respondents) or on the podium (67% of respondents),” the IOC Athletes Commission report said.

But Peaty, the 2016 Olympic champion in the 100 breaststroke, said athletes should be allowed to protest without the fear of fines or punishment.

“I think that people do have the right to protest and have the right to do it where they want. I don’t think we should fine them for expressing their opinions,” Peaty told reporters, according to Reuters. “It’s like me now, I wouldn’t want to be fined for saying it. But it’s everything with balance.”

British swimmer Scott was notably part of a much-publicized podium protest at the 2019 World Championships. After the 200 freestyle final, Scott (who tied for the bronze medal) refused to share the podium with or shake the hand of gold medalist Sun Yang. Sun, who represents China, has previously served a ban for doping and was (and remains) in limbo of another ban for an altercation with doping control agents at a different test.

“There has got to be a reason why somebody would want to protest,” Scott said in the Reuters story. “They are not just going to do it for anything. I don’t know what people want to do on the podium, but crack on.”

Great Britain’s Olympic chief Mark England says the nation will be in an open dialogue with athletes to find a workable option for athletes who wish to protest.

“We’ll listen to what they have to say and want to do,” he said. “It’s really important we find an avenue and a route for those athletes across the team who wish to protest against whatever issue may be close to their heart.”

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1 month ago

This is a sports competition not a place you make protest. If you make the olympics you should probably have a platform large enough to do it on social media.

UK swimmer
Reply to  Bruh
1 month ago

Some athletes won’t even hit a million views/likes on social media but a podium protest at the Olympics will be seen by billions. Duncan Scott got more UK media attention for his podium protest in 2019 than his medal sadly

A random swimmer
Reply to  UK swimmer
1 month ago

That’s true, unfortunately. But that’s because the British media only focus on Adam Peaty and nobody else. Its always Adam this and Adam that, you’d be lucky if anyone else got the same coverage. And then we have the problem where they don’t focus on the other athletes but the English ones. You wouldn’t even know from the BBC that there are Scottish or Welsh athletes there. Duncan only gets coverage when he comes close to winning a medal, where as Peaty gets a whole segment(s) dedicated to him. And even on days where he wasn’t swimming. Last time the BBC covered international swimming, we had Ms Adlington on TV saying how great Adam’s body looked… like come on now.… Read more »

1 month suspension by USADA
1 month ago

Breaking News: Tate Jackson tested positive for smoking cannabis.

Breaking Bad News
Reply to  1 month suspension by USADA
1 month ago

Smoke some weed, forced taper, kick butt at the big meet…genius! Reminds me of the 70s;-)

Reply to  1 month suspension by USADA
1 month ago

That’s still against the rules? In a generation, people are going to look back at a cannabis ban and think, “how stupid. Why was sport trying to legislate that?” Maybe we should impose a two week ban for speeding tickets. A one week ban for eating Halloween candy before the 31st…etc

Breaking Bad News
Reply to  CoachTim
1 month ago

Oh he definitely ate all the Halloween candy…but I doubt that he sped anywhere.

Sam B
1 month ago

It also helps to be on the podium – and for that accomplishment too they deserve to express themselves – on the podium. They are not taking selfies and mocking the anthem, as Scott said, it’s for a reason.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Sam B
1 month ago

But if they would also like to do those things, I support it.

Are kids still dabbin’ these days? Just dab the whole time.

Breaking Bad News
Reply to  Steve Nolan
1 month ago

Dabbling’ in the dab is a rite of passage right…right?

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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