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updated: 2/19/2014 6:19 AM

IOC rejects Ukraine request to wear black armbands

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Associated Press

SOCHI, Russia -- Ukraine's Olympic Committee says the IOC has rejected a request for its athletes at the Sochi Games to wear black armbands honoring those who died in violent protests in Kiev.

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.

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