The International Olympic Committee warned athletes their behavior must be appropriate or they will face the consequences. In a strict intepretation of Olympic rules, they were told, “their actions, reactions, and attitudes will be scrutinized right down to appearance, clothng, gestures and any written or oral statements.” For the first time since the 1968 Olympics in Mexico, when black American athletes held their fists in the air to protest discrimination, athletes are being told not to get involved in political or social protests. To reinforce this view, the Chinese government said people who are found in Tinaanmaen Square may be searched. “Police will be on the lookout for explosives, poisonous and radioactive article, guns, knives, drugs and other items that pose risks to social nd public security.”
The Australian Olympic Committee told its athletes they have the right to say whatever they wish on a blog, but they are not allowed to convey messages on tee-shirts or make public political statements.
There is no question the Tibet situation and the attitude of the Chnese government towards dissent is resonating within the Olympic Committee. Originally, holding the Olympic Games supposedly was to help foster democracy in China.