Olympic chief saddened by torch incidents

April 8th, 2008 - 4:20 pm ICT by admin  

Beijing, April 8 (DPA) Olympic supremo Jacques Rogge said Tuesday he was saddened by the protests in London and Paris around the torch relay for the Beijing Games but did not want to join speculation on the future of the symbolic event. “I’m definitely concerned about what has happened in London, in Paris. Concerned is not a good word…I’m deeply saddened by the fact that such an important symbol has been attacked,” Rogge said in Beijing where the International Olympic Committee is holding meetings.

“We recognize the right for people to protest and express their views. But, it should not be violent. We are very sad for all the athletes and the people who expected so much from the run.”

Rogge confirmed that the scenes which went around the world via television will be discussed by the IOC executive board later this week.

But the IOC boss did not want to say whether it should stop at least the international part of the current relay or do away with it in the future.

The torch relay has been the target of attacks from human rights activists who are protesting China’s crackdown on the unrest in Tibet.

The torch was snuffed several times in Paris and the leg in the French capital was cut short due to the protests.

There were several incidents in London Sunday and in Greece two weeks ago when the flame was lit in ancient Olympia.

The torch relay for the Aug 8-24 Games in Beijing is the longest in Olympic history travelling around 134,000 km. The international leg of the relay runs until May 3.

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