Free Tibet, say Australian Olympians
news.com.au[Monday, July 28, 2008 12:45]

Cadel Evans recently showed his support for the Tibetan cause while competing in the Tour de France.
Cadel Evans recently showed his support for the Tibetan cause while competing in the Tour de France.
A LARGE chunk of Australia's Olympic team will enter Beijing opposed to its occupation of Tibet.

More than one-third of athletes in the team - 35 of the 100 polled - declared that they wanted China to withdraw from the strife-torn home of the Dalai Lama.

Tibet has been a huge talking point among athletes in the wake of riots and a ruthless response by Chinese authorities this year.

Tour de France cyclist Cadel Evans, perhaps now the most famous Australian Olympian to compete at the Beijing Games - triggered world headlines when he wore a Free Tibet T-shirt during a race in Belgium earlier this year.

Evans recently repeated his show of support for the Tibetan cause, wearing a Free Tibet T-shirt under the prestigious yellow jersey preserved for leaders of the Tour de France, during stage 15 of this year's race.

The International Olympic Committee has toughened its interpretation of the Olympic Charter for Beijing, adding a clause banning demonstrations or political, religious or racial propaganda.

The Chinese have been extremely sensitive about any form of Tibetan protest, and they have banned any demonstrations on the issue.

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