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SBD Global/July 31, 2012/Olympics
Twitter Bans British Journalist; Footballer In Trouble Over Tweet
Published July 31, 2012
DREAMS COULD END: Meanwhile, the AP reported Swiss footballer Michel Morganella faces expulsion from the London Games "for allegedly sending a racist message on Twitter" (AP, 7/31). In Sydney, Darren Davidson wrote it is "only day three of the Olympics, yet Twitter already has played a key role in some of the biggest stories in London" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 7/30).
MAKING A POINT: REUTERS' Nick Mulvenney noted several U.S. track and field athletes are in Twitter protest over restrictions on the promotion of sponsors, and runner Sanya Richards-Ross said that it aims to help peers "who struggle financially to stay in the sport." The tweets targeted Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter, which forbids athletes from taking part in advertising for anyone except official sponsors during the Games. Richards-Ross said, "People see the Olympic Games, when athletes are at their best, but they don't see the three or four years before when many of my peers are struggling to stay in the sport." She added, "The majority of track and field athletes don't have sponsors. In the sport, a lot of my peers have second and third jobs to be able to do this. We understand that the IOC is protecting its sponsors, but we want to have a voice as well." Richards-Ross: "Only 2% of U.S. athletes are able to tweet about their sponsors because only 2% of athletes have USOC or IOC sponsors." IOC spokesperson Mark Adams said that the ban was only for one month every four years, arguing Rule 40 was "entirely the right thing to do" as it supported less privileged athletes who depended on the IOC for cash (REUTERS, 7/30).