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Czech Olympic Committee and Czech Weightlifting Union condemn Ota Zaremba’s racist remarks

Prague, 18.7.2010 16:47, (ROMEA)

The Czech Olympic Committee and Czech Weightlifting Union have condemned Ota Zaremba, gold-medalist in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, for racist remarks about the Roma he made in an interview with the online daily TÝDEN.CZ. News server Romea.cz publishes their statements in full below.

Statement of the Czech Olympic Committee

The Czech Olympic Committee (Český olympijský výbor - ČOV) has noted with great uneasiness the xenophobic remarks about Jews and Roma attributed to former weightlifter Ota Zaremba. Should these published remarks be authentic, ČOV condemns them in the strongest possible terms.

ČOV thoroughly respects freedom of speech and political conviction, but is unanimously resolved that it must reject any manifestations of intolerance, as the Olympic movement is based on completely opposite principles. According to the Olympic Charter, any form of discrimination against countries or persons on the basis of race, religion, political conviction, sex or any other reason is incompatible with membership in the Olympic movement.

The Czech Olympic Committee hopes Ota Zaremba will re-evaluate his position and not administer the discriminatory measures he mentioned in his remarks. We hope that as an Olympic medalist he will return to the values on which the Olympic movement is based.

Statement of the Czech Weightlifting Union

As a matter of basic principle, the leadership of the Czech Weightlifting Union distances itself from the behavior and statements of Mr Ota Zaremba which have been published in some Czech media. We are convinced that such an attitude violates the rights of the citizens of this country and outrageously damages the good reputation of Czech weightlifting and sport in general. This unfortunate case will be discussed at the next meeting of the Executive Board of the Czech Weightlifting Union and will then be handled by the Disciplinary Commission of our Union.

Gwendolyn Albert, ROMEA, Czech Olympic Committee, Czech Weightlifting Union, ROMEA, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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