Olympics-Sprint queen Thompson-Herah blocked on Instagram over TV rights

Karolos Grohmann, Reuters

Posted at Aug 04 2021 07:36 PM

Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica celebrates winning gold REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica celebrates winning gold REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Not even the fastest woman in the world can outrun Tokyo 2020 Olympics broadcast rights holders, with gold medallist sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah saying she had been blocked on Instagram for posting videos of her victorious 100 and 200 metres races.

The Jamaican sprinter defended her Olympic titles from the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics over the two distances in Tokyo, making it four Olympic gold medals from two Games.

But her attempt to share her Tokyo competitions with her 310,000 followers on Instagram backfired.

"I was blocked on Instagram for posting the races of the Olympic (sic) because I did not own the right to do so. So see y'all in 2 days," the sprinter wrote on Twitter.

Thompson-Herah is due to compete in the women's 4x100 metre relay on Thursday and, should Jamaica qualify for the final, on Friday. She had won a silver medal with her teammates in Rio.

The International Olympic Committee said the removal of unauthorised content on social media was an automatic process.

"Rights Holding Broadcasters (RHBs) have the exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympic Games," the IOC told Reuters.

"This includes distribution on social media, where athletes are invited to share the content provided by the RHBs on their accounts but cannot post competition content natively."

"Should that occur, the removal of such content from social media platforms happens automatically."

The IOC will receive more than $4 billion in broadcasting rights for the period including the 2018 Pyeongchang winter Olympics and the Tokyo Games, much of which goes back into the Games and in supporting sports and athletes.

"The income from the sales of the broadcasting rights is an important element in the financing of the Olympic movement and helps building the Olympic stage on which athletes can shine," it said.

"The IOC redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of $3.4 million goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world." (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Hugh Lawson)

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