The Swiss Gymnastics Federation (STV) has banned photographers from taking “suggestive” photos of gymnasts.
The association has imposed the ban in a bid to ensure that gymnasts can only be photographed in a way that focuses on their poses and positions.
The German newspaper BILD reports that the Swiss federation will ban sports photographers from shooting pictures of gymnasts in poses which have them spreading their legs upwards.
‘Ethically Sensitive’ Photography
“To protect gymnasts, the STV strives to ensure that no suggestive or otherwise ethically sensitive photos are published and passed on. Especially photos where gymnasts were photographed in the crotch,” STV states in its updated guidelines.
“The STV is aware that such photos can arise in action photography. However, publication should be avoided. The main concern of the STV is to sensitize the media professionals and to let common sense prevail.”
According to STV’s new guidelines, photographs of gymnasts in a position that sees their legs spread upwards, such as on a balance beam or uneven bars, will be banned.
Meanwhile, photographs of gymnasts in the splits pose being allowed will be dependent on the angle of the picture.
Naomi Kempter, who works in the Ethics Department at STV, says the photography ban is essential and should have been imposed sooner to protect gymnasts from sensitive images.
“We wanted to send a signal that we no longer want such photos. It was high time for something like this,” Kempter tells BILD.
According to the publication, Germany is also taking measures to protect gymnasts and ensure that they are only photographed in certain poses and angles.
The German Gymnastics Federation says it has “adjusted” positions in which photographers can stand in order to prevent photos taken with the gymnast’s legs spread — such as directly in front of an athlete.
If the German Gymnastics Federation discovers sensitive photos of a gymnast being circulated in the media or online, the association says it will also speak directly to the photographer who has taken the images.
In May, Japan also introduced its first nationwide laws to criminalize exploitative “photo voyeurism.” The issue of taking sexually exploitative images of others is particularly serious at sporting events in the country.
Young athletes in sporting attire in Japan are frequently targeted by people engaging in sneak photography of a sexually malicious nature.
Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.