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IOC asks China team to explain Mao pins worn at podium
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 3, 2021 at 18:10 JST
Shanju Bao, left, and Tianshi Zhong of Team China hug celebrate their gold medals during a medal ceremony for the track cycling women’s team sprint finals at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Aug. 2, in Izu. (AP Photo)
The IOC says it asked China’s Olympic team to explain two gold medal winners wearing pins of communist leader Mao Zedong at their medal ceremony.
It risks being judged a breach of Olympic Charter Rule 50 prohibiting political statements on the podium.
After winning the women’s sprint in track cycling Monday, Bao Shanju and Zhong Tianshi wore pin badges of Mao, the founding leader of communist China.
The Chinese incident followed one day after American shot put silver medalist Raven Saunders crossed the wrists of her raised arms on the podium, in a symbol of support for oppressed people. That happened seconds after the Chinese national anthem finished playing for gold medalist Gong Lijiao.
Adams says the IOC has asked the United States team for more details. The U.S. Olympic body said it was taking no action against Saunders.
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