Some Ukraine team members leave Games - IOC

SOCHI, Russia Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:08pm IST

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) visits Team Ukraine House at the Olympic Park during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Games February 15, 2014. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) visits Team Ukraine House at the Olympic Park during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Games February 15, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Some members of Ukraine's Sochi Olympics team have decided to leave the Winter Games as widespread anti-government protests back home have left dozens dead and hundreds injured, the International Olympic Committee said on Thursday.

"I believe some of them have decided to return home and (Ukraine Olympic Committee president) Sergey Bubka has said he absolutely respects every individual's right to make their own decision," said IOC spokesman Mark Adams.

A Ukraine team official said Alpine skier Bogdana Matsotska and her father, who is also her coach, Oleg Matsotskyy, had pulled out. There was no information if additional Ukrainian athletes had opted to return home.

Adams said an athlete's departure was a matter for the Ukrainian team.

"I think his (Bubka's) view was that the team should stay but equally he respects every athletes' decision to do what they think is best in the circumstances," Adams said.

"From the National Olympic Committee themselves the best way to show solidarity ... is for the team to remain here."

He also said it was not the IOC who stopped the athletes from wearing black armbands on Wednesday but that it was decided within the team itself. Instead, Adams said, officials held a minute's silence.

At least 26 people have died in recent days as protests spread across Ukraine.

The country, which has won one bronze medal so far, sent 43 athletes to Russia's first Winter Olympics.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Mitch Phillips/Peter Rutherford)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

On The Field

REUTERS SHOWCASE

2022 World Cup

2022 World Cup

Soccer - April/May best for 2022 World Cup, say European clubs.  Full Article 

Back From Suspension

Back From Suspension

Record scorer Rooney set for Manchester derby return.  Full Article 

Playing On Turf

Playing On Turf

Men's World Cup could be played on artificial turf, says Valcke.  Full Article 

Giving Everything

Giving Everything

Al Hilal captain to run until he "dies" for ACL glory.  Full Article 

On The Green

On The Green

Westwood confident of PGA Tour success on favourite course.  Full Article 

Ferdinand Punished

Ferdinand Punished

Ferdinand suspended for three games for Twitter comment.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage