DENVER - With the Beijing Games less than 100 days away, the International Olympic Committee clarified its protest rules Monday, saying that athletes' external appearance, clothing and gestures would be scrutinized in China.
The IOC sent a six-point letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, to the national Olympic federations in response to their request for interpretations of Rule 51.3 of the Olympic charter. That rule states "no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas."
The letter expanded on the rule, saying: "The conduct of participants at all sites, areas and venues includes all actions, reactions, attitudes or manifestations of any kind by a person or group of persons, including but not limited to their look, external appearance, clothing, gestures, and written or oral statements.
Besides, it would have saved the dignity of the IOC from not issuing one of the most asinine statements I have read in a long time, and I quote.
"Everyone concerned ... should also respect the personal rights of each individual athlete, which include both the right to express themselves and the right not to comment on political issues"
The right not to comment on political issues…spare me for frack's sake.