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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-07-25

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek Olympic Com't officials deem athlete's tweet 'racist', disqualify her from Olympic team

  • [01] Greek Olympic Com't officials deem athlete's tweet 'racist', disqualify her from Olympic team

    AMNA / The Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) on Wednesday announced that Greek triple jump athlete Voula Papachristou will not be allowed to compete in the London Olympics, following the stir caused by an alleged "racist tweet", posted a few days ago. The decision to disqualify Papachristou was taken in spite of the athlete's public apology.

    Papachristou reportedly tweeted, in Greek, on her personal account that "With so many Africans in Greece ... At least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat home-cooked meals", a reference to recent instances of the West Nile virus being detected in the country.

    According to an HOC announcement, the head of the Greek Olympic mission decided to remove Papachristou from the team "for statements that are contrary to the values and ideals of Olympism". It noted that Papachristou had not yet gone to London because she was expected shortly before the start of the athletics events.

    Papachristou immediately issued an apology, referring to an "unfortunate and in tasteless joke".amna

    "Dear colleagues and friends. I would like to express my apology for the truly unfortunate and tasteless joke I published on my personal Twitter account. I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to

    insult (anyone's) human rights. My dream is connected to the Olympic Games and I could not possibly participate if I did not respect their (Games') values. Therefore, I could never believe in discrimination between human beings and races..."

    Papachristou stressed that she copied the post from a Facebook account, while she later terminated her Twitter account.www.amna.gr

    The athlete's Tweet initially prompted strong reactions from Greek political parties, with junior coalition government member Democratic Left (Dem.Ar) asking that she be recalled and not allowed to represent Greece in the Games. An announcement was also issued by PASOK, the second-largest party in the coalition government, condemning the athlete's post and expressing hope that her apology was sincere.

    HOC later issued statement stating that the Greek mission's leadership in London has briefed participating athletes that they are forbidden from making statements, to any mass media outlet or via any social network, that "do not refer to sports issues and the Olympic Games."

    Finally, an announcement by SEGAS, the Greek athletics Federation, subsequently announced that Papachristou will be referred to the federation's disciplinary committee for her post.amna


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