IOC board member apologizes for linking Russian ban to Nazis
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) IOC board member Gian Franco Kasper has apologized for comparing a ban on Russia from the 2018 Olympics to persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany.
Kasper, the long-time International Ski Federation president, says ''it was an inappropriate and insensitive comment.''
The 73-year-old Swiss official had been speaking on the sidelines of an IOC board meeting in 2018 host city Pyeongchang. Kasper compared a potential Olympic ban for Russia - as punishment for state-backed doping and cheating at the 2014 Sochi Games - with indiscriminate persecution by the Nazis.
In a statement released by the IOC, Kasper says: ''I apologize unreservedly for any offence I have caused. I am truly sorry.''
The IOC has set up two commissions to verify Russia's doping program before deciding on the country's Olympic participation.