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Will the Australian athletes be able to discuss Chinese doping at the Olympics?

Team Australia will be free to openly discuss the doping controversy involving Chinese swimmers from the Tokyo Olympic Games at the Paris Olympics.

TOPSHOT - An underwater view shows China's Zhang Yufei competes to win the final of the women's 200m butterfly swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo on July 29, 2021. (Photo by François-Xavier MARIT / AFP)

During the Olympic Games in Paris, Australian athletes are permitted to speak openly about the doping case concerning Chinese swimmers. However, as reported by Reuters, they are not allowed to do so from the podium or during the medal ceremony.

The position of the Australian Olympic Committee was confirmed by the head of mission and former two-time track cycling Olympic Champion, Anna Meres, on Wednesday.

The Chinese doping cases from Tokyo are still under investigation

The case of 23 Chinese swimmers who tested positive for doping but were still allowed to compete at the Tokyo Games is still under investigation. All athletes are frustrated by the fact that this is a failure of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Before the Australian athletes departed for France, Ana Meres emphasized the importance of athletes being able to express their opinions. However, the Australian Olympic Committee has set some conditions.

“If they have an opinion or when they want to share it, they’re welcome to, the athlete voice is really, really important. The only thing that I will say and have said to them myself is that a survey went through from the Athletes Commission to Olympians around protests and using our voice. There are lots of places where they can do that ... but the two places that athletes agreed upon that protest and voice wouldn’t be used was on the podium and on the field of play.”

Anna Meres -

Australian swimmer Mack Horton, who has since retired, refused to step on the podium alongside China’s Sun Yang at the 2019 World Championships, previously calling the three-time Olympic champion a “drug addict cheater.” Yang’s four-year suspension for doping expired in May of this year, and he will be competing in Paris in less than three weeks’ time.