By Karolos Grohmann
TOKYO (Reuters) – The International Olympic Committee said it had issued a warning to two Chinese cycling medalists who wore brooches bearing the face of the country’s former leader, Mao Tse-Tung, on the podium at the Tokyo Olympics, in violation of a rule about political gestures, and that the case was now closed.
The IOC said on Saturday that it had received an “clarification” from the Chinese Olympic Committee about the political gesture of its athletes.
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“We received a clarification and the athletes were warned,” IOC Corporate Communications and Public Relations director Christian Klaue told reporters.
“We also received assurances that it would not happen again, and with that, the IOC considers the case closed.”
Cyclists Bao Shanju and Zhong Tianshi wore the brooches during the medal ceremony on Monday, in violation of Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter that prohibits the display of political accessories on the podium.
The two athletes wore the brooch, common in China for half a century and usually an identifier of Communist Party membership, after defending the women’s team title in sprint cycling at the Izu Velodrome.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann)
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