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SBD Global/March 7, 2014/Olympics

Int'l Paralympic Committee Says Ukraine Remains Undecided On Sochi Games Boycott

Int'l Paralympic Committee spokesperson Craig Spence said on Thursday that Ukraine "remains undecided over whether to boycott the Sochi Paralympics less than 48 hours before the Games begin." Spence said IPC President Philip Craven had held "a very long and productive meeting" Wednesday night with officials from the Ukrainian Paralympic Committee, but had so far failed to persuade them to commit to competing in Sochi. Spence said, "They are still weighing up their options as the situation changes back home" (R-SPORT, 3/6). ANSA reported Italian Olympic committee (CONI) Head Giovanni Malagò said on Wednesday the the decisions by the U.S. and Great Britain to boycott the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Paralympics amount to "political exploitation." Both countries "will participate in the Paralympics but have said they won't take part" in Friday's Opening Ceremony "to protest Russia's involvement in the crisis in Ukraine." Malagò said that "is wrongly mixing politics and sports." He said, "This is really exploiting not only the Olympics but the Paralympics (for political use)" (ANSA, 3/5).
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