The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is looking into the gesture made by American shot putter Raven Saunders after she raised her arms into an X during her medal ceremony.
After receiving her silver medal at Tokyo 2020 on Sunday, Saunders stepped off the podium, lifted her arms above her head and formed an “X’ with her wrists. She said the protest represented "the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet.”
Under Olympic rules, political protests are banned during medal ceremonies.
The IOC is in contact with World Athletics, the international governing body for the sport, and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, IOC spokesman Mark Adams told a news conference on Monday.
In July, the IOC relaxed its Rule 50, which forbids athletes from taking any protests. Athletes can now make gestures on the field, provided they do so without disruption and with respect for fellow competitors. But podium protests are still subject to the threat of sanctions.
In an apparent reference to the IOC's rules restricting protests, Saunders wrote on Twitter on Sunday: "Let them try and take this medal."
Saunders, who has previously spoken about her own mental health challenges, said she hoped to inspire the LGBTQ community, African Americans, black people around the world, and those also struggling with their own mental health.
Several athletes have used the Tokyo Games as a platform to protest. The captain of the German women's hockey team wore an armband in rainbow colours in solidarity with LGBTQ communities during the team's matches, while the Australian women's football team unfurled an indigenous flag before their opening match.
Team GB were among several football teams to take the knee before matches to protest racial inequality.
Costa Rican gymnast Luciana Alvarado raised a fist while taking the knee at the end of her routine.
Three of the US men’s épée team staged a silent protest against their own teammate Alen Hadzic who has been accused of sexual misconduct by wearing pink face coverings while the alternate wore a black face mask. Hadzic, who denies the allegations, told newspaper USA Today his teammate handed out the masks before they took the stage ahead of their loss to Japan and was unaware of the protest.