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.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.