Sebastian Coe backs athletes’ right to ‘take a knee’ at Tokyo Olympics

Seb Coe has become the most powerful voice yet to demand athletes be allowed to ‘take a knee’ at next year’s Olympics.

Gestures of political protest are banned by the International Olympic Committee, though the IOC has said it will review that policy.

World Athletics boss Coe spoke out in support of stars of the five-ringed circus whilst visiting Games’ venues in Tokyo.

"I have been very clear,” he said. “If an athlete chooses to take a knee on a podium, then I am supportive of that.

“Athletes are a part of the world and they want to reflect the world they live in.

“For me, that part is perfectly acceptable as long as it is done with respect — complete respect — for other competitors, which I think most athletes properly understand.”

A day after Olympics chief Thomas Bach spoke confidently about these Olympics going ahead at the second attempt, Coe agreed.

The two-time 1500m gold medalist said: “This isn't about coming for any assurances.

"There may have to be some adaptations, there may have to be some differences, but I am absolutely convinced that even under those circumstances it will still be a fantastic Games."

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