IOC: Keep protests away from medals podium

The International Olympic Committee said Monday that athletes could be punished if they make a statement with regards to Russia's anti-gay propoganda law on the medals podium. IOC president Thomas Bach reiterated that such statements of protest are not allowed within Olypic venues.

"It is very clear the Games cannot be used as a stage for political demonstrations however good the cause may be," Bach told the media during a conference call, according to Reuters.

However, athletes are not barred from making any political statement at press conferences.

"The IOC will take, if necessary, individual decisions based on individual cases. It is also clear on the other hand the athletes enjoy the freedom of speech so if in a press conference they wanted to make a political statement then they are absolutely free to do so."

Later asked if he were insinuating that athletes keep their prostests within the boundaries of the press room, Bach said: "If you are drawing this conclusion I would not say anything against it."

Russia has been the target of criticism for its anti-gay propoganda law, which opponents believe to be an infringement on human rights.

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