In a television interview during the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Canadian hockey pundit Don Cherry called the Russian people "quitters" for threatening to boycott the last few days of the games.

Cherry's remarks infuriated Russian communities in various cities and towns across Canada. The remarks came between periods during the women's hockey final last week.

Cherry attempted an apology by writing to Maia Master, publisher of the Russian Express, a community newspaper in Toronto to clarify his remarks. He said he didn't mean Russians living in Canada.

Specifically, he said he didn't mean Igor Radolov, a Russian hockey player with Cherry's Mississauga IceDogs junior hockey team.

"Igor is a good guy, and I would like to set the record straight for guys like him," Cherry said. "My comments ... were directed to the Russian delegation who threatened to pull out of the Olympics because they got caught with drugs and they were losing."

Cherry said he considers the 160,000 Russians living in Toronto as Canadians. "I hope they were as thrilled as I was when Canada won the gold," Cherry said.

Master of the Russian Express wasn't impressed.

"Some people have said he (Cherry) is a clown," she told The Toronto Star. "This is a clown's apology.