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Jacques Rogge dismisses claims 2012 logo is 'racist'

Rogge dismisses Iran's 'racist' 2012 logo complaint

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge has dismissed Iran's claims that the logo for the London 2012 Games is "racist".

Iran could boycott the event after claiming the emblem resembles the word "Zion" - a biblical term for Jerusalem.

Iranian officials wrote to the IOC to highlight the perceived link.

Rogge told BBC Sport: "No, it can't be serious. We will quietly reply, telling [Iran] the logo has nothing to do with racism or any political connotation."

The Iranian letter urges other Muslim states to oppose the "racist logo".

In an exclusive interview with BBC sports editor David Bond, Rogge said his response to the letter was "a big smile".

"With the logo, with scissors and some glue you can do whatever you want," he added.

The London logo shows the numbers "2012" in four jagged figures and until now has only been criticised for its design.

Iran's London 2012 logo complaint

With 18 months until the Olympics, a statement from the London Organising Committee [Locog] added: "[The logo] was launched in 2007 following testing and consultation.

"We are surprised that this complaint has been made now."

The letter from Bahram Afsharzadeh, the secretary general of Iran's National Olympic Committee, was sent to Rogge and stated: "There is no doubt that negligence of the issue from your side may affect the presence of some countries in the Games, especially Iran which abides by commitment to the values and principles."

Iran won a gold and bronze at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing to finish 51st in the medals table.

Hadi Saei won the taekwondo title in the men's under 80kg category. The competition saw Britain's Aaron Cook miss out on a bronze medal after some controversial judging.

Iran's other medal came courtesy of Seyedmorad Mohammadi, who won bronze in the men's 60kg freestyle wrestling.

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see also
Profile: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
04 Aug 10 |  Middle East
Coe proud of new Olympic logo
08 Jun 07 |  Olympics 2012
Olympic logo 'represents London'
07 Jun 07 |  Olympics 2012
London 2012 team defend new logo
05 Jun 07 |  Olympics 2012
London unveils logo of 2012 Games
04 Jun 07 |  Olympics 2012
Iran leader's comments attacked
27 Oct 05 |  Middle East

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