Some Ukraine athletes leave Games: IOC

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 20, 2014 3:00 AM

By Karolos Grohmann

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Some Ukraine athletes have decided to leave the Sochi Winter Olympics as widespread anti-government protests back home have left dozens dead and hundreds injured, the International Olympic Committee said on Thursday.

"I believe some of them have decided to return home and (Ukraine Olympic Committee president) Sergey Bubka has said he absolutely respects every individual's right to make their own decision," said IOC spokesman Mark Adams.

Adams did not say who or how many athletes had decided to withdraw from the event, which finishes on Sunday.

At least 26 people have died in recent days as protests spread across Ukraine

Ukraine sent a team of 43 athletes to Russia's first Winter Olympics.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Mitch Phillips)