The Olympics have a new eligibility standard: social media etiquette. Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou was kicked off the team Wednesday after tweeting this: "With so many Africans in Greece, the West Nile mosquitoes will be getting home food!!!"
It used to take a positive doping test to get kicked out of the Olympics.
That approach still works -- just ask the latest nine track athletes banned for doping before the Games even start. But the swiftest way to stay home these days requires just 140 characters.
Tweet at your own peril.
Papachristou's expulsion from the Olympics might not have a chilling effect on athletes' love affair with social media, but it has reminded them to be thoughtful before tweeting.
"It's a new age in many ways," U.S. fencer Tim Morehouse said. "We're finding our way. I'm very conscientious of what I'm putting on Twitter and Facebook. When you hear stories like that, you're sort of learning the line of what you can present and what you can't."
American swimmer Ricky Berens agreed.
"If you post something racist, I would expect there would be some sort of punishment," he said. "You always have to think through what you're going to tweet -- are you allowed to, would they appreciate it?"
When the American athletes arrived at the Olympic Village, they were reminded about the International Olympic Committee's social media guidelines. The U.S. Olympic Committee doesn't have a formal social media policy, but it encourages athletes to tweet in a manner that represents their country well, USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said.
U.S. fencer Race Imboden said that when he arrived in London he wanted to post video about what he was experiencing but remembered that posting to a public site was against the IOC's guidelines.
"You definitely have to be careful. It's a fine line," Imboden said. "Having people able to follow athletes through the Games gives me an opportunity in a small sport to have one-on-one interaction and have people learn about what I do is a good thing overall."
Most athletes are doing just that. Members of the U.S. women's gymnastics team posted a picture of themselves with their Olympic crush, swimmer Ryan Lochte. Jordyn Wieber also tweeted about "trading pins like a couple of maniacs."
Of course, Twitter sharing also can be cringe-worthy; Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt posted a picture of himself posing in front of a urinal poster alongside the foul-mouthed teddy bear from the movie Ted.
Or in the case of Papachristou, much worse.
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