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IOC wants athletes' dialogue as protest calls grow louder

Video Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on June 10, 2020 - Duration: 04:21s

IOC wants athletes' dialogue as protest calls grow louder

Athletes will discuss and decide on how best to support the core Olympic values "in a dignified way" says Bach

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IOC wants athletes' dialogue as protest calls grow louder

== RESENDING WITH FULL SHOTLIST AND SCRIPT == VIDEO SHOWS: PRESS CONFERENCE WITH IOC PRESIDENT THOMAS BACH / GV'S OF OLYMPIC HEADQUARTERS SHOWS: LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND (JUNE 10, 2020) (IOC VNR - Broadcasters: NO RESALES.

EDITORIAL USE ONLY Digital: NO RESALES.

EDITORIAL USE ONLY) 1.

VARIOUS OF THE OUTSIDE OF THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE HEADQUARTERS 2.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) THOMAS BACH, IOC PRESIDENT, SAYING: "We have fully supported the initiative of the IOC Athletes Commission to have dialogue with their counterpart athletes from around the world to explore different ways on how Olympic athletes can express their support for the principles enshrined in the Olympic charter in a dignified way.

"We also agree, at the same time, with the athletes commission, that we must always respect the Olympic spirit, and this means that we must make a difference between such support for the principles enshrined in the Olympic charter, and potentially divisive demonstrations.

"Now we are looking forward there to the input we will get from the IOC Athletes Commission on this topic within this framework." 3.

WIDE SHOT OF BACH 4.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) THOMAS BACH, IOC PRESIDENT, SAYING: "Yes there are these kind of demonstrations (kneeling) and you see here one example, this is the demonstration in support of the Olympic principles of non-discrimination.

This is our DNA, this is one of the raison d'etre of the Olympic Games.

"So everybody who is participating in the Olympic movement, and in the Olympic Games in particular, is standing for these values." 5.

WIDE SHOT OF BACH 6.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) THOMAS BACH, IOC PRESIDENT, SAYING: "I will not pre-empt in any way these consultations the Athletes Commission now will have with many athletes representatives around the world.

I think it would not be fair if now I make a statement and there giving directions or even instructions in this respect.

There the framework has been set and now let the Athlete Commission and the athletes discuss among themselves and then coming up with the relevant proposals." 7.

WIDE SHOT OF BACH 8.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) THOMAS BACH, IOC PRESIDENT, SAYING: "Thank you very much Karolos.

In effect what has changed is that Seb Coe has committed himself to changing his status within the company he is currently running as managing director to a passive position and the necessary documentation will be provided to the IOC ethics commission by the first of July.

"Because the EB (executive board) has the full confidence in our friend Seb Coe they have decided to put the candidature forward subject to the delivery of such documentation, with which then the concerns of the IOC Ethics Commission will be gone." 9.

WIDE SHOT OF BACH STORY: Athletes will discuss and decide on how best to support the core Olympic values "in a dignified way", the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Wednesday (June 10), as calls to change rules restricting protests at Games grow louder.

Several major sports have moved to allow protests following George Floyd's death in U.S. police custody on May 25, including world soccer's ruling body FIFA and the National Football League (NFL).

Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter, however, bans any form political protest during the Games.

"No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas," the rule states.

IOC President Thomas Bach said consultations between athletes' groups around the world were under way.

"The IOC Executive Board supports the initiative of the IOC athletes' commission to explore different ways for athletes to express support for the principles enshrined in the Olympic charter in a dignified way," Bach told a virtual news conference.

After reading a resolution of the IOC Executive board condemning racism, Bach was repeatedly asked whether athletes at next year's Tokyo Games could go down on one knee, as many have done in recent weeks, to show their support for the Floyd protests.

"I will not preempt in any way these consultations with many athletes representatives," Bach said.

"It would not be fair if now I make a statement giving directions or instructions." "The framework has been set and now let the athlete commission and athletes discuss among themselves and come up with relevant proposals." Athletes who breach Rule 50 are subject to discipline on a case-by-case basis and the IOC issued guidelines in January clarifying that banned protests include taking a knee and other gestures.

Bach also spoke about World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, who was nominated for membership to the International Olympic Committee pending proof he has stepped down from an active role in a consultancy firm, the IOC President said.

Coe's membership is linked to the two-time Olympic champion's role as president of the federation and ends a five-year wait for one of the Games' most popular sports.

The athletics body has not had any representation within the IOC since the departure of Coe's predecessor Lamine Diack in 2015 amid a corruption scandal and subsequent trial.

The IOC had repeatedly snubbed Coe, a federation vice-president under Diack and British sporting great, saying there was potential conflict of interest with other posts he holds.

"Seb Coe has committed himself to changing his status within the company he is currently running as managing director to a passive position and the necessary documentation will be provided to the IOC ethics commission by the first of July," IOC President Thomas Bach told a virtual news conference.

Apart from his role at World Athletics, Coe, who won 1,500m gold in 1980 and 1984, is also Group Chairman of consultancy firm CSM which also works with the IOC.

"Because the executive board has full confidence in our friend Seb Coe they have decided to put the candidature forward subject to the delivery of such documentation with which the concerns of the ethics commission would be gone," Bach said.

For decades, membership of the IOC for the head athletics was almost automatic.

(Production: Andy Ragg)

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