IOC investigation into Raven Saunders’s protest halted after mother’s death

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has halted their investigation into Team USA shot putter Raven Saunders’s podium protest due to her mother’s death, USA Today reported.

Speaking to media on Wednesday, IOC spokesman Mark Adams said the committee has decided to suspend its investigation into Saunders’s protest due to current circumstances the athlete is dealing with. 

“The IOC obviously extends its condolences to Raven and her family,”

Adams said, “Given these circumstances, the process at the moment is fully suspended.”

Saunders’s mother, Clarissa, died Tuesday after seeing her daughter win a silver medal in the women’s shot put at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, according to USA Today. 

Adams told CNN on Monday that the committee will investigate Saunders over her protest during the podium ceremony, when she raised her arms to form an “X” symbol to raise awareness for the “oppressed people” in the U.S. 

Various Team USA members from the past and present have used the Olympic platform to voice awareness on racial injustice and social justice issues in the country. 

In a letter to the IOC, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee defended Saunders’s protest, writing that her protest did not occur during the medal ceremony or when another participating athlete’s national anthem was playing, USA Today reported. 

The Hill has reached out to the IOC for comment.

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