Sent home for being a dope, not being doped up
The first athletes sent home at the Athens Olympics were Greek. Sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou were accused of intentionally staging a motorbike accident to avoid the mandatory pre-event drug test.
The first athlete to be sent home from these games is also a Greek athlete, but instead of being doped up, she was just being a dope, and not a very nice one that.
Triple jumper Voula Papachristou was sent home last Thursday after mocking African migrants on her Twitter account. It was a stupid mistake made which has cost Papchristou her chance to compete at the Olympics, and she took to Twitter to post her apology in English:
“My dream is connected to the Olympic Games and I could not possibly participate if I did not respect their values. Therefore, I could never believe in discrimination between human beings and races.
“I would like to apologize to all my friends and fellow athletes, who I may have insulted or shamed, the National Team, as well as the people and companies who support my athletic career. Finally, I would like to apologize to my coach and my family.”
Last night Swiss soccer player Michel Morganella was also expelled from the London Games. After using his Twitter account to make offensive comments about the South Korean team, calling them “bunch of mongoloids” that should be “burned.”
Charming. Not to mention disappointing. You’d like to think that the Olympics would be a forum to promote better relations between counties and cultures, not a platform for flouting of racist bad sportsmanship.
Even more beguiling is the fact these athletes would choose to take these kinds of risks. Right from the outset, the IOC have been spruiking their strict social media guidelines for athletes in the London Games.
Up until now the most controversial has been “Rule 40”, the section that bans athletes from using social media to promote their sponsors during the London Games.
As it turns out they probably should have also included a section on how to compete and communicate respectfully.
Follow me on Twitter: @lucyjk
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