Australian athletes due to compete at Rio 2016 will not be banned from using social media during the Games, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has confirmed.
It follows reports to the contrary which suggested the AOC would implement a blanket ban on competitors using social media sites such as Twitter at the event in order to avoid distractions.
They had earlier been urged to “tweet or compete” at this year’s Olympic Games last month to encourage athletes to seriously consider whether they should engage in social media at the biggest competition of their careers.
“There is no ban on social media for members of the Australian Olympic Team in Rio,” an AOC spokesperson said.
“There never was a ban.
“The AOC has recommended to the individual sports that they implement a plan for their athletes around the use of social media at the Games.
“It is up to the sports if they do so.
“Some sports are limiting the use of social media in training and competition venues at Games’ time for obvious reasons.
“There is no problem with athletes using social media in their downtime in the Village, on transport or when they are out and about in Rio.
“In fact, they are encouraged to engage with social media.”
Australian Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller also called on athletes to limit their online use but hockey star Anna Flanagan, who has just short of 20,000 Twitter followers, revealed last month she was against any ban.
The country's disappointing overall performance at London 2012 has been partly attributed to excessive social media use, as well as other aspects including alcohol consumption.
A 2013 review cited Twitter when claiming that a "toxic culture" hindered the swimming team in the British capital.
Australian hurdler Sally Pearson and compatriot sprint cyclist Anna Meares, two of Australia's gold medallists at London 2012, claimed switching off social media boosted their cause.
Swimmer Emily Seebohm said, however, it may have cost her the gold medal in the 100 metres backstroke.
“At the London Games in 2012, athletes were distracted by social media and it impacted on performance,” the spokesperson added.
“We would like to avoid a repeat in Rio.”