Ukraine Olympians barred for wearing armbands to mark protest deaths

Feb. 19, 2014 at 3:55 PM

KIEV, Ukraine, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Ukrainian Olympic athletes cannot wear black armbands to honor people killed in protests in their homeland, the country's officials said Wednesday.

The International Olympic Committed rejected the team's request to display the symbols of mourning for 25 people killed Tuesday in Kiev, RIA Novosti reported.

"Sharing deep pain over the loss of fellow countrymen, the Ukrainian Olympic committee appealed to the International Olympic Committee to allow Ukrainian athletes to wear black armbands as a sign of mourning and expression of sorrow and sympathy," Ukrainian Olympic officials said in a statement on the national committee's website.

The IOC turned down the request because it was not "in accordance with the Olympic charter," the statement said.

IOC policy does not allow any form of political expression during the Olympics.

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