Greek Olympian banned from games after controversial tweet
Fri, 27 Jul 2012 15:00:00 GMT —
If you picked Greece's Voula Papachristou to win the triple-jump in the upcoming Olympics, you might want to rethink your selection.
The 23-year-old was scheduled to compete for Greece but didn't even get to the opening ceremony. Infact, she didn't even get to London. Greek Olympic officials gave her the boot Wednesday over some racially charged tweets back home.
The tweet in question occurred on Sunday, when she made a comment about the influx of African immigrants to her country, as well as the presence of mosquitos in Athens carrying the West Nile Virus.
The tweet read: "With so many Africans in Greece, the West Nile mosquitoes will be getting home food!!!'
Shortly after the tweet was sent, the International Olympics Committee banned Papachristou from competing in the games for violating the "Olympic spirit."
On Thursday, Papachristou responded to the IOC's decision:
"I have not slept at all and to be honest I am still trying to come to terms with what has happened," she told Reuters. "I am trying to stay calm otherwise I would lose control. I am thankful to my coach and family and so many other people who have stuck by me. After so many years of hurt and sacrifices to try and get to my first Olympics I am very bitter and upset. But what has upset me the most is the excessive reaction and speed of the disciplinary decision. I don't know if they want to make an example out of me because of my profile, this is for others to judge, but what I believe is that they used their maximum disciplinary power on me for this."
London 2012 has been dubbed the social media games, and last year the IOC published rules for athletes and their use of social media.
IOC: "Postings, blogs or tweets must not disclose any information which is confidential or private in relation to any other person or organization."
IOC: "Postings, blogs and tweets should at all times ... be dignified and in good taste, and not contain vulgar or obscene words or images."
IOC: "If any other persons appear in the photo, their prior permission must be obtained by the person posting such photo."
IOC: "Participants and other accredited persons cannot post any video and/or audio of the events, competitions or any other activities which occur at Olympic Venues."
The IOC closes its rules with a reminder that applies to all social media users regardless of athletic skill: Participants and other accredited persons post their opinions and any other materials at their own risk.