Dina Asher-Smith has warned Olympics organisers they would be "shooting themselves in the foot” for punishing any athlete if they take the knee on the podium.
The IOC had relaxed competition rules to allow Team GB women footballers to make the gesture against racism before their game against Chile in Tokyo.
However, it said medal winners would face disciplinary action if they took the knee on the podium.
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Asher-Smith, 25, believes that any ban would be "unenforceable".
The world 200 metres champion said: “When it comes to people’s voices there’s very little you can control.
When people feel strongly about something, particularly when it’s something that’s so close to your heart - particularly for me that topic would be racism, as a black woman you think about racism - I just think you can’t police people’s voice on that.
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Asher-Smith, who has not declared whether she would take the knee if she wins a medal in Tokyo, said the rule is "an incredibly difficult thing to do".
She drew comparisons with the 1968 Games in Mexico City when American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists on the medal stand.
Team GB players take the knee before kicking off against Chile
She added: "Some of the Olympics’ most iconic moments have been the black power salute by Tommie Smith wayback when, that is something people remember the Olympics for, something they’re very proud to see at the Olympic Games.
"So to think they’re suddenly going to get up and say 'absolutely not', I think they’d be shooting themselves in the foot."
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