Olympians not allowed to blog, but would they anyhow?

· The Power of Many

According to AP via CNN, Olympians are prohibited from publishing their own stories and pictures. In fact, CNN’s headline said “largely barred from blogging”, but that implies that preventive measures are being taken; in fact, the IOC says that it hasn’t done anything to enforce the ban.

Athletes may be the center of attention at the Olympic Games, but don’t expect to hear directly from them online — or see snapshots or video they’ve taken. The International Olympic Committee is barring competitors, as well as coaches, support personnel and other officials, from writing firsthand accounts for news and other Web sites. An exception is if an athlete has a personal Web site that they did not set up specifically for the Games.

The IOC’s rationale for the restrictions is that athletes and their coaches should not serve as journalists — and that the interests of broadcast rightsholders and accredited media come first. …

The Olympic guidelines threaten to yank credentials from athletes who are in violation as well as to impose other sanctions or take legal action for any monetary damages. But [an IOC] official said the IOC has yet to take any action against an athlete. The IOC distributed the policies to each country’s Olympic committee in February.

The story provides only one example of athletes writing firsthand accounts of their time in Athens. Many sportswriters, some spectators, and even a radio announcer, are blogging the games; are athletes writing or photoblogging?