The Olympic laws not only try to alert governments to avoid crossing the limit of “meddling” in the Olympic Movement, but also send their warnings to the Olympic representatives against the temptation of politics.
The Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) sent a brochure to athletes and confederations in which it states it does not authorize the association of its brands with political campaigns, mainly the electoral campaign between the two main candidates for the presidency of Brazil: the current president, Jair Bolsonaro, and former president Lula da Silva.
“You are free to exercise and express your political opinions and contributions of any nature, as long as there is no correlation or link of any nature with the COB,” the document reads.
The blog “Olhar Olímpico” recalls in the 2018 elections, Maurren Maggi, the Olympic long jump champion in Beijing 2008, then a candidate for the Senate of São Paulo, relied on the broad association between her candidacy, the Olympic Movement and the COB itself . She was wearing a Team Brasil tracksuit and jersey in her photo of her, and in various campaign materials.
The COB then reacted with a call to athletes about not using their brands in the political campaign.
Now, the COB anticipated and has released a statement making such cross promotion clearly forbidden.
Among the rules are: “not to participate in partisan political events with t-shirts and accessories that associate the COB with candidates and/or political parties” and “not to post on your social networks, using or indicating any association with the COB, with political opinions or campaigns of a candidate and/or party”, according to “Olhar Olímpico.”
Two famous volleyball players are candidates in this election. The Olympic champion in London 2012, Tándara Caixeta, candidate for the Chamber of Deputies, has worn the uniform of the Brazilian team both in her profile picture of her on social networks and in publications linked to her candidacy of her.
The Olympic champion in 2016, Maurício Luiz Souza, candidate for federal deputy, has a photo on the field of the Rio Games, and other images in the uniform of the national team at various moments of his political promotion.
Both Jair Bolsonaro and Lula da Silva began the electoral campaign on Tuesday. For the time being they can hold rallies and campaign on social media, internet and print media. The use of radio and television will be allowed on August 26.
The Brazilian electorate will vote on October 2 in a process in which the COB hopes that its warnings will be respected.