Jan. 9 (UPI) -- The International Olympic Committee released a set of guidelines Thursday urging athletes not to make any political gestures or protests during the upcoming 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.
The governing body of the biennial sporting event addressed such demonstrations in an update of its Rule 50 Guidelines.
"As athletes, we are passionate about our sports and achieving our sporting performance goals. For each and every one of us, that passion continues into everyday life, where we advocate for change on issues of great importance to us and our world," a statement accompanying the document read.
"That desire to drive change can naturally make it very tempting to use the platform of an appearance at the Olympic Games to make our point."
The rule bans the display of political messaging, including signs and armbands; gestures of a political nature, including hand gestures or kneeling; and the refusal to follow the ceremonies protocol. The ban applies at all Olympic venues, including fields of play, Olympic Village, medal ceremonies, and opening and closing ceremonies.
The IOC said athletes, coaches, trainers and officials may express opinions during news conferences and interviews, at team meetings, and on other digital or traditional media.
Disciplinary action against those who break Rule 50 "will be taken on a case-by-case basis as necessary."
The IOC said if participants don't follow the guidelines, "the life's work of the athletes around us could be tarnished, and the world would quickly no longer be able to look at us competing and living respectfully together, as conflicts drive a wedge between individuals, groups and nations."
"That is not to say that you should be silent about the issues you care deeply about."
The XXXII Summer Olympic Games are scheduled to take place July 24-Aug. 9.