ATHENS, Greece (AFP) — Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou was kicked out of the Olympics yesterday for a racist tweet which poked fun at Africans living in the country.
The 23-year-old Papachristou had written that "with so many Africans in Greece, at least the mosquitoes of West Nile will eat homemade food".
Although she subsequently deleted the message after a huge public backlash, the Hellenic Olympic Committee decided to drop her from the squad for London.
"The triple jump athlete Paraskevi (Voula) Papachristou has been expelled from the Greek team of the London Olympics for comments contrary to the values and ideals of the Olympic movement," said a committee statement.
Papachristou, who was to have left for London in a few days as part of a 105-strong Greek squad for the Games, apologised for the tweet.
"I ask forgiveness from all my friends and fellow athletes if I embarrassed them," she said.
"Also from all those who supported me. My dreams were the Games. All these years I've tried for those specific three days that I would be in London.
Her coach Giorgos Pomaski said he respected the decision of the committee but considered it "very heavy for a cafeteria-type joke".
Mark Adams, director of communciations for the IOC, said that the IOC supported the Greeks decision.