Pan Am Games protesters each get 12 months of probation

DENVER — The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee has handed down 12-month probations to the athletes who protested on the medals stand at the Pan American Games.

In letters of reprimand sent Tuesday to hammer thrower Gwen Berry and fencer Race Imboden, copies of which were obtained by The Associated Press, USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland said that while she respected their perspective, "I disagree with the moment and manner in which you chose to express your view."

Berry raised her fist on the podium, while Imboden took a knee. U.S. athletes sign forms in which they agree to adhere to rules that forbid acts of political protest at international events such as the Pan Am Games and Olympics.

The athletes protested on the last weekend of action at the Pan Am Games. Neither was sanctioned while there. Both will be eligible for the Olympics next summer.

But in the letter, Hirshland said "going forward, issuing a reprimand to other athletes in a similar instance is insufficient."

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