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Greek far-right party condemns triple jumper's expulsion from Olympic team over racist joke

07/26/2012 07:37 EDT | Updated 09/25/2012 05:12 EDT
ATHENS, Greece - The extreme far-right Golden Dawn party has deplored the expulsion of a Greek Olympian for comments on Twitter mocking African immigrants and voicing support for the party.

A Golden Dawn statement Thursday said triple jumper Voula Papachristou's punishment was a display of inverted racism.

It says the Hellenic Olympic Committee's decision shows how the Greek "system ... literally exterminates, for paltry reasons, whoever dares to express a different opinion, even in jest."

After years in the margins of Greek politics, Golden Dawn won nearly seven per cent of the vote in parliamentary elections last month, and elected 18 lawmakers in the 300-seat Parliament.

Greece's Olympic committee expelled Papachristou Wednesday for "statements contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement."

The 23-year-old athlete has apologized for her comments.

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