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Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee issued a set of guidelines on Thursday to strengthen a rule that bars athletes from certain forms of political protest at the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.

What they're saying... The Committee warns: "No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas."

  • Activism such as kneeling, political hand gestures and wearing or holding signs or armbands is not allowed at fields of play, in the Olympic Village, during medal or other official ceremonies.
  • But, but, but: So long as athletes follow local laws, they're permitted to express themselves at press conferences, in interviews, at team meetings and on digital and traditional media platforms.

The committee states that "disciplinary action will be taken on a case-by-case basis as necessary" for those who violate the guidelines.

Between the lines: Sporting events, including the Olympics, have a lengthy history of attracting political protests. In the U.S., former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem in 2016 to protest racial injustice, sparking a national dialogue on the issue.

  • In 1968, American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists on the medal stand at the Games in Mexico City, per the Washington Post.
  • Ethiopian marathoner Feyisa Lilesa showed support for civil rights protestors in his home country by crossing his wrists at the finish line during the 2016 Olympic Games, the Washington Post notes.
  • American fencer Race Imboden and hammer-thrower Gwen Berry faced probation from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee last year over protesting during the national anthem.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine won't just go to rich countries

Waiting, in New Delhi. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images

While the 95% efficacy rates for the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines are great news for the U.S. and Europe, Monday's announcement from Oxford and AstraZeneca may be far more significant for the rest of the world.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca plan to distribute their vaccine at cost (around $3-4 per dose), and have already committed to providing over 1 billion doses to the developing world. The price tags are higher for the Pfizer ($20) and Moderna ($32-37) vaccines.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key information about the effective COVID-19 vaccines — Oxford University's 90%-effective vaccine.
  2. Health: U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations keep breaking recordsWhy we're numb to 250,000 coronavirus deaths — Americans line up for testing ahead of Thanksgiving.
  3. Travel: Air travel's COVID-created future — Over 1 million U.S. travelers flew on Friday, despite calls to avoid holiday travel.
  4. World: England to impose stricter regional systemU.S. coronavirus hotspots far outpacing Europe's — Portugal to ban domestic travel for national holidays.
  5. Economy: The biggest pandemic labor market drags.
  6. Sports: Coronavirus precautions leave college basketball schedule in flux.

Biden transition names first Cabinet nominees

Biden with John Kerry. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden on Monday unveiled his nominations for top national security positions in his administration, tapping former Secretary of State John Kerry as his climate czar and former deputy national security adviser Avril Haines as director of national intelligence.

Why it matters: Haines, if confirmed, would make history as the first woman to oversee the U.S. intelligence community. Biden also plans to nominate Alejandro Mayorkas to become the first Latino secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.