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US fencer drew 'X' mark on his hand for Olympic medal ceremony 'in support of athletes of color'

United States fencer and bronze medalist Race Imboden said that an 'X' mark drawn on the back of his hand during his recent medal ceremony was done in solidarity with 'athletes of color' in protest against a ban on political gestures on Olympic podiums.

'Some of the athletes communicated and decided upon this symbol to show solidarity for each other and support the oppressed,' he explained in on social media early on Wednesday morning.

'For me I personally wore the symbol as a demonstration against rule 50,' he said, referring to a rule in the Olympic charter that forbids the expression of political statements in venues and on the podium. 

'I also wish to draw attention to the hypocrisy of the IOC, and all of the organizations who profit so immensely off the athletes and have yet to hear their call for change,' Imboden added in an Instagram post. 

United States fencer and bronze medalist Race Imboden (left) said that an 'X' mark drawn on the back of his hand during his recent medal ceremony was done in solidarity with 'athletes of color' in protest against a ban on political gestures on Olympic podiums

Imboden explained his reasoning behind the 'X' afterwards, saying he did it to support 'athletes of color' and to protest the IOC ban on political demonstrations on the podium

Imboden went on to write that the 'X' was drawn 'in support of athletes of color' and with the intention of 'ending gun violence'

Race Imboden of the United States reacts as compete Kirill Borodachev of the Russian Olympic Commettee in the men's Foil team semifinal competition

Imboden had a similar message on Twitter.

'The X is a symbol of solidarity,' he began. 'Some of the athletes communicated and decided upon this symbol to show solidarity for each other and support the oppressed. For me I personally wore the symbol as a demonstration against rule 50. 

Imboden went on to write that the 'X' was drawn 'in support of athletes of color' and with the intention of 'ending gun violence.'

The 'X' has already drawn controversy at the Tokyo Games, where athlete protests have been a major story despite the fact that only a few demonstrations have actually taken place.  

US shot put silver medalist Raven Saunders also raised her arms in an X sign during her podium, which prompted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to look into the gesture.

They subsequently suspended the probe following the death of Saunders's mother.

Raven Saunders gestures on the podium with her silver medal after competing the women's shot put event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Imboden was placed on probation for 12 months in 2019 by the USOPC after taking a knee during a medal ceremony for the Pan Am Games (pictured)

Imboden, a foil fencer, was not among the US epee fencers who wore pink face masks in an apparent protest against team alternate Alen Hadzic (pictured), who qualified for the Tokyo Games amid allegations of sexual misconduct and groping while he was a student at Columbia University between 2010 and 2015

Imboden was placed on probation for 12 months in 2019 by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) after taking a knee during a medal ceremony for the Pan Am Games.

He made the gesture due to multiple factors, with issues regarding racism, gun control, the mistreatment of immigrants, and then-president Donald Trump topping the list, he said at the time. 

Imboden, a foil fencer, was not among the US epee fencers who wore pink face masks in an apparent protest against team alternate Alen Hadzic, who qualified for the Tokyo Games amid allegations of sexual misconduct and groping while he was a student at Columbia University between 2010 and 2015. 

Hadzic, who has denied the allegations, appeared in a black mask at Friday's competition alongside teammates Curtis McDowald, Jacob Hoyle, and Yeisser Ramirez, who all wore pink face masks.   

American sabre fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad praised Ramirez, McDowald and Hoyle on Twitter: 'Team USA men's epee team wore pink masks for their opening match at the Olympics as a show of support for sexual assault victims. Alen Hadzic— their teammate accused of rape and sexual assault— is on the left. Kudos to the team for taking a stand. #BelieveWomen' 

Alen Hadzic (far left), who has denied allegations of sexual misconduct, appeared in a black mask at Friday's competition alongside teammates Curtis McDowald (center left), Jacob Hoyle (center right), and Yeisser Ramirez (far right), who all wore pink face masks

American sabre fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad praised Hadzic's teammates on Twitter for taking a stand together with a picture of the photo

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