Australia?s Cadel Evans finally arrived in Beijing today but was given a public warning from the Australian team not to make any kind of protest in favour of Tibet.

Evans has been outspoken about his support for Tibet, has a link to a site selling Free Tibet t-shirts and wore them during the Tour de France. Evans can express his opinions in blogs and press conferences but the Olympic charter forbids any kind of protest by wearing t-shirts and showing flags.

“My understanding is he’s certainly said that he would respect those rules when he’s in the venues and I hope that’s the case,” the president of the Australian Olympic Committee John Coates told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

“Our position is that we respect the right of athletes to take a position on human rights, all those matters. We’ve given them the opportunity personally on blogs; personally at conferences like this you’re free to ask these athletes whatever questions you want here.”


Evans delayed travelling to China after suffering a knee-injury during his Silence-Lotto team?s post-Tour de France celebrations in Paris. He initially pulled out of the time trial event, handing his place to Michael Rogers and only decided to ride the road race after a five-hour ride on Monday. Australia were given a second wild-card place for the time trial by the IOC on Monday and after Evans will make a final decision about riding after Saturday?s road race.

Evans admitted that his training for the 245km road race had been affected by his knee injury but predicted that the winner will be a rider who has ridden the Tour de France.

“My training was upset with the knee but I will be surprised if someone who didn’t ride the Tour is up there winning the medals. It is the best training block you can have,? Evans told waiting media on his arrivals.

On the bike my knee is fine, it’s just walking around that is the problem. But the doctors assure me that by the day of the race I won’t even know I had an injury.”

Evans will ride the road race with Michael Rogers, Stuart O’Grady, Simon Gerrans and Matthew Lloyd.


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