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updated: 2/20/2014 5:44 AM

Ukrainian skier leaves Olympics, citing violence in her country

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Associated Press

SOCHI, Russia -- The International Olympic Committee says it has been informed that Ukrainian skier Bogdana Matsotska has left the Sochi Games in response to the violence in her country.

Spokesman Mark Adams said Thursday the IOC has been in touch with the Ukrainian Olympic organizing committee following a clash between anti-government protesters and police in Kiev that left at least 25 people dead and hundreds injured.

Pole vault great Sergei Bubka, who heads Ukraine's national Olympic committee, has urged Ukrainian athletes to remain in Sochi as a sign of unity. But he's also said he respects the rights of athletes to make their own decision.

The 24-year-old Matsotska finished 27th in the super-G and 45th in giant slalom.

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