Bach praises 'great dignity' of Ukrainian athletes

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Photo - Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach sit at a cafe along the promenade on the Black Sea near the Olympic Park at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach sit at a cafe along the promenade on the Black Sea near the Olympic Park at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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SOCHI, Russia (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach has expressed his condolences to victims of the violence in Ukraine and praised Ukraine's Olympic athletes for continuing to compete at the Sochi Games.

Bach says the IOC's "thoughts and sympathy are with the Ukrainian team at what must be very difficult time."

At least 25 people were killed and hundreds injured in clashes between police and anti-government protesters in Kiev on Tuesday.

Ukraine sent a team of 43 athletes to Sochi.

Bach says "the way they have continued to represent their nation with great dignity is a credit to them and their country."

He says "their presence here is a symbol that sport can build bridges and help to bring people from different backgrounds together in peace."

Earlier, the IOC rejected a request for Ukrainian athletes to wear black armbands to honor those who died.

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