Olympic committee may cancel torch relay
Apr 08,2008 00:00 by UPI
BEIJING -- The International Olympic Committee said it may end the international leg of the Beijing Olympic torch run due to protests against China's crackdown in Tibet.

IOC President Jacques Rogge said the organization's executive board will meet Friday to debate whether to allow the torch to continue its 85,000-mile, 21-country journey in the face of protests against China's human rights record and involvement in Tibet, The Times of London reported.

Rogge said Tuesday said violent protests in London and Paris "deeply saddened" him, and he expressed concerns about Wednesday's torch relay in San Francisco, where protesters already unfurled banners supporting Tibet on the Golden Gate Bridge.

The IOC is conducting its last official meetings in Beijing this week with organizers of the games.

Gunilla Lindberg, an IOC member from Sweden, said that the protests greeting the torch relay were "damaging the Olympic movement."

"Using the torch this way is almost a crime," Lindberg said. "This is the property of the IOC. It is not a Chinese torch."

If the IOC votes to cancel the remainder of the international torch relay, the torch likely would go directly to China, the British newspaper said.

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