Team USA's Chuck Aoki battles with a Team Canada wheelchair rugby athlete at Rio 2016

Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter is an eligibility rule introduced by the International Olympic Committee in 1991 for the purpose of maintaining the unique and universal competitive environment offered by the Olympic Games. The rule helps ensure global participation at the Games and maintain the long-term health of the Movement. The value of the IOC’s international marketing program and the benefit partners receive to market their association with the Games supports athletes around the world, including all members of Team USA. There is a similar rule in the International Paralympic Committee’s Paralympic Handbook that governs participants in the Paralympic Games.

The rule applies to participants in the Olympic or Paralympic Games 2020, including current competitors, coaches, trainers and officials. It only applies to participants in the current Games and is not applicable to alumni. 

On Oct. 8, 2019, the USOPC released an updated Rule 40 and Paralympic athlete marketing guidance for the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. This guidance is available below. At that time, the USOPC's CEO Sarah Hirshland also sent a letter of explanation to the Olympic and Paralympic community, which can be read here

The IOC’s Rule 40 and the IPC’s image policy apply during and surrounding Games times. The IOC and IPC establish specific applicable periods for each specific Games.

For the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, the IOC Rule 40 period is July 14 - August 11, 2020. Dates for the IPC Image Policy period will be released by the IPC at a later date.  

The USOPC's Rule 40 Guidance was updated Oct. 08, 2019, and is available for download here. An informational guide to accompany the update is available here.  

Questions? Click here to register for Rule 40 Athlete Education Sessions.

The IPC athlete marketing guidance is expected to be released before the end of 2019. Any necessary adjustments to the USOPC domestic guidance will be made at that time. The USOPC Rule 40 Portal will launch in the build-up to the Tokyo 2020 Games.