Athletes who try protesting by kneeling or raising a fist at official Olympic sites will face punitive measures, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced this week.
The IOC Athletes' Commission examined the matter and found that roughly seven out of 10 athletes of nearly 3,500 polled feel it is not appropriate to demonstrate at Olympic events.
Any "protests and demonstrations or acts perceived as such" should not be allowed in those venues, Kirsty Coventry, head of the commission, said in a virtual briefing on Wednesday.
Slogans like "black lives matter" also are not allowed.
The commission recommended the IOC provide clarity on the punishment athletes who violate the charter will face. Violations are examined on a case-by-case basis.
The report was full of recommendations, all of which were approved by the IOC Executive Board.
Coventry said that athletes will be punished if they choose to defy the rules and protest anyways.
The committee defines a racial and social justice demonstration as one "specifically aimed at promoting the human dignity of individuals or groups that have historically been underrepresented, minoritized, or marginalized in their respective societal context," such as advocating for equal rights for black people.
The committee did not respond to a request for comment.
The World Players Association, an athlete union, said it would back any athletes that choose to violate the rules. The union said the commission's survey was flawed.
Coventry expressed that as a former Olympian herself, the podium, field of play, and ceremonies hold a special place in her heart.
"So if I think about when I was competing, I wouldn't want something to distract and take away from that," she said.
The commission also recommended incorporating messaging like solidarity and inclusion into the Olympic Village branding, altering the Olympic Oath to similar messaging, and increase athletes' expression on various issues outside the games.
The Tokyo Olympics are set to start on July 25.
"We are undertaking all the right efforts to minimize the risk, as much as you can minimize the risk in such a situation," he said.