Voula Papachristou Expelled From Olympics: Greece Boots Track Star Over Racist Twitter Message

07/25/2012 09:10 am ET | Updated Sep 24, 2012
  • AP/The Huffington Post

Voula Papachristou has been expelled from the Greek Olympic Team for a racist twitter comment, according to the Associated Press.

The website Keep Talking Greece translated the offensive tweet by Papachristou (@papaxristoutj):

“With so many Africans in Greece… At least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat home made food!!!”

Papachristou tweeted an apology in English on Wednesday:

READ COMPLETE APOLOGY

I would like to express my heartfelt apologies for the unfortunate and tasteless joke I published on my personal Twitter account. I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights.

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.

The Greek Olympic Committee released a statement, confirming the expulsion of the track and field athlete who had been set to compete in the triple jump. Per the BBC, the committee stated that Papachristou has been "placed outside the Olympic team for statements contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement."

MORE FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS:

ATHENS, Greece — Greece has removed triple jumper Voula Papachristou from the country's team at the London Olympics over her comments on Twitter mocking African immigrants and expressing support for a far-right party.

The Hellenic Olympic Committee says in a statement Wednesday that Papachristou is "placed outside the Olympic team for statements contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement."

Papachristou is in Athens. The committee says she was to travel to London shortly before the track events start.

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