Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport urges IOC to amend Rule 50

Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport urges IOC to amend Rule 50

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The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport has urged the International Olympic Committee to amend its controversial Rule 50 ©Getty Images

The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) has urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to amend a controversial rule which bans athletes from protesting at the Olympic Games.

Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter, which the IOC claims is designed to protect the neutrality of sport and the Olympic Movement, states: "No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas."

The IOC has come under increased pressure to alter the rule in recent weeks following global anti-racism protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in the United States last month.

Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in Minneapolis after white police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes.

The CCES, which administers Canada's anti-doping programme and advocates for ethical sport, has urged the IOC to relax Rule 50, claiming it breaches the freedom of expression of Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

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"Given Canada’s constitutional values and international human rights commitments, it is the position of the CCES that the IOC should amend Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter to protect freedom of expression, as recognised under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, limiting only expression that undermines the very purposes of protecting the freedom," it said in a statement.

The CCES is the latest body to call on the IOC to reconsider Rule 50, with Global Athlete demanding the guidelines are abolished completely.

IOC President Thomas Bach said earlier this month that Rule 50 could be reviewed as part of a consultation process due to be conducted by the IOC Athletes Commission.

The Canadian Olympic Committee has also said it is consulting with its Athletes' Commission and is "identifying opportunities for Canadian Olympians to continue to maximise the athlete voice".

By Nancy Gillen-InsideTheGames 

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