April 9, 2008

IOC may scrap Beijing Olympic torch relay over protests


The International Olympic Committee may scrap the international leg of the Beijing Olympic torch relay as a result of the protests over China’s military crackdown in Tibet.

Jacques Rogge, the IOC President, says the organisation’s executive board will meet on Friday to debate whether to allow the torch to continue its 85,000-mile, 21-country journey.

Mr Rogge said this morning that he was “deeply saddened” by the violent protests in London and Paris, and concerned about tomorrow’s torch relay in San Francisco.

The IOC is holding its last official meetings in the Chinese capital this week with organisers of the Beijing Games. Gunilla Lindberg, a Swedish IOC member, said that the protests surrounding the torch relay were “damaging the Olympic movement”.

“Using the torch this way is almost a crime,” Ms Lindberg said. This is the property of the IOC, it is not a Chinese torch.”

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