IOC warns Tunisian federation after Israeli flag incident

Tuesday July 8th, 2014

The world baseball and softball confederation was issued a warning Tuesday by the International Olympic Committee after an investigation into a May incident in Tunisia involving Peter Kurz, the head of the Israeli Baseball Association.

The Associated Press reports that Kurtz was requested not to display the Israeli flag or name plate at the World Baseball Softball Confederation congress. Kurtz, who was one of 150 delegates representing 90 nations at the conference, according to the report, said that "for my own wellbeing and the sake of the host country," he was asked not to sit with his national flag. Acting separate of the IOC, the WBSC issued the Tunisian federation a six-month suspension.

"We examined it and understood it was probably a lower-level person, it wasn't a plot," Anita DeFrantz, an IOC executive board member from the United States, told The Associated Press. "It seemed someone individually took an initiative, but nevertheless it's inappropriate, and we want to make sure the organization understood the responsibility for ensuring that the Olympic movement's principle is applied."

The warning comes less than a year after Tunisia's tennis federation prohibited one of the country's players from facing an Israeli opponent in a tournament in Uzbekistan.

—Chris Johnson

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