ITU Removes Sexual Orientation Text From Rules

The International Triathlon, under scrutiny after adding "sexual orientation" to the list of themes about which in-race "propaganda" was prohibited, made a quick about face. The rules now list no such prohibition.

The ITU added the following statement:

"The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has decided to immediately change the rule that stated that 'Athletes will avoid displaying any kind of demonstration of political, religious, sexual orientation or racial propaganda', so that 'sexual orientation' will be immediately removed.

"The ITU is aware of articles published recently suggesting that our institution was banning the rainbow flag at our events. We would like to clarify that we have always stood for equality, inclusion and respect, and would never knowingly take such a decision that would infringe on the rights and freedoms of people to express themselves and banning the display of rainbow flags. ITU is proud to be an organisation that is absolutely inclusive from its inception, and will continue to be so in the future."

Officials attached to the ITU, and to its daughter federations, wrote privately over the weekend expressing their dismay. It's unclear how or why whom this rule text was inserted.

The rule has been and continues to be the subject of an robust discussion on the Reader Forum.

[PHOTO: Jack Bristow, of the UK, at WTS Leeds in 2018, the only known occurrence of a rainbow flag at an ITU event.]