Ukraine athletes' request to wear black armbands rejected by IOC
Ukraine's Olympic Committee says the IOC has rejected a request for its athletes at the Sochi Games to wear black armbands honouring those who died in violent protests in Kyiv.
The committee says on its website it wants to "share deep pain over the loss of fellow countrymen" and wear armbands as an "expression of sorrow and sympathy."
The committee says the IOC replied that this was "impossible according to the Olympic Charter." The IOC reprimanded Norwegian cross-country skiers earlier in the games for wearing black armbands in tribute to an athlete's brother.
The violence in Ukraine between riot police and protesters has left at least 25 people dead and 241 injured. The Ukrainian delegation in Sochi is led by Sergei Bubka, the Olympic pole vault great who has urged both sides to lay down their weapons.
IOC President Thomas Bach expressed his condolences to victims of the violence in Ukraine on Wednesday and praised Ukraine's 43 Olympic athletes for continuing to compete at Sochi.
Bach said the IOC's "thoughts and sympathy are with the Ukrainian team at what must be very difficult time."