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IOC apologises for Holocaust comparison

Sport News

International Olympic Committee member Gian Franco Kasper on Thursday apologised for comparing the possible exclusion of Russians from the Winter Olympics to the Holocaust.

The Swiss head of the International Skiing Federation told newsmen at the IOC executive board meeting in Pyeongchang, host for next February’s Winter Games.

“I’m just against bans or sanctioning of innocent people.

“Like Mr Hitler did all Jews were to be killed, independently of what they did or did not,” Kasper said.

However, Kasper later apologised for his comments.

“That was an inappropriate and insensitive remark,’’ he noted.

A World Anti-Doping Agency report in 2016 alleged that over 1,000 Russian athletes were involved in a state-sponsored doping system and that cheating was rife at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games in the country.

Almost all Russian track and field athletes were barred from the Rio Summer Games last year because of the doping scandal.

The IOC has come under pressure to instigate a similar ban for Russian competitors at Pyeongchang, irrespective of whether they have failed doping tests.

Kasper said he was trying to make the point that a blanket ban on Russians at the 2018 Winter Games would be unfair on clean athletes.

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