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Ukraine Athletes in Sochi Not Allowed to Wear Black Armbands of Mourning

The International Olympic Committee has turned down a request from Ukrainian athletes at the Sochi Winter Games to wear black armbands in memory of the 25 people killed during violent clashes between police and anti-government demonstratorsin Kiev.

"Sharing deep pain over the loss of fellow countrymen, the Ukrainian Olympic Committee appealed to the International Olympic Committee to allow Ukrainian athletes to wear black armbands as a sign of mourning and expression of sorrow and sympathy," a statement on the organization's website said.

"The answer was received from the IOC that in accordance with the Olympic charter it is not possible to do this," the statement said.

The IOC has a policy of forbidding any form of political expression during the Olympics, and earlier rebuked Norway for allowing its competitors in Sochi to wear stickers in memory of Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke, who died in an accident two years ago.

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