International Olympic Committee member Kevan Gosper has told sporting bodies to “back off” restricting media outlets and journalists covering major events.

Gosper cautioned some bodies were putting themselves at risk in the long run if they restrict journalists covering major events.

Sporting federations interfering with freedom of the press in covering events are going down a risky road… They should back off,” said Gosper.

The call comes at a time when society and media at large are reevaluating the line between professional and amateur coverage. Intellectual property protection at major events has been fighting battles on multiple fronts as well, where online coverage is causing tension.

A number of sporting federations need to understand that it is the freedom of the press to write about matters relating to the sport between competition that sustains public interest. It is information the public has a right to know in a free society,” said Gosper.