1. In Sweden is it common to combinate sports and politics. Our Minister of Justice at that time, Thomas Bodström had a big campaign before and under world championship in football (Germany 2006) protesting against prostitution. First he demanded boycott, but later he wanted that the Swedish team should express their (?) hate against prostitution. The Swedish politicians said that it was a perfect opportunity to work against prostitution and also change the view of prostitution in EU with their influence. In Sweden prostitution is illegal but it is not in Germany. The Social Democratic party made t-shirts with their message and said:

    "We will make sure that Zlatan, Henke (Swedish team) and the president of the sports committee Lagrell can wear the t-shirt."

    "Come on, Zlatan, Henke Larsson and Fredrik Ljungberg! Take the chance to protest against sextrading during the world championship."

    "Football players are idols and they can make a big difference being clear with prostitution and trafficking is not okay, said the sports committee secretary Ann-Christine Furustrand."

    Picture of the t-shirts:
    [link]

    Now is he pushing for boycott OS in Peking just in line with the political view of the social democratic party. The Swedish swimming stars Lars Frölander och Josefin Lillhage is saying to aftonbladet (Swedish news paper) that they want IOC to react against China and they stay behind that.

    Maybe you should contact him, Mr. Čavić, because he is also a famous Lawyer.
    You are a true victim of the “antiserbian west propaganda”.

    It is also very interesting that people in Europe have learned to read in Cyrillic!
    (swede, 28 March 2008 16:23)

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  2. God is looking from above. Serbs be proud of yourselves, you have nothing to be ashamed of. Envy is envy.

    Peace.
    (belgrader, 24 March 2008 21:18)

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  3. To be honest seeing as the olympics are being held in China, had he said "free tibet" he probably would have been suspended to be honest.

    I agree he shouldn't have been suspended though, he wasn't really trying to be political. IMO people should only be banned if they're wearing stuff that is overtly promoting a political party of any kind, like "vote Labour!" or promotes a message that could promote violence, like "all Albanians die" or whatever, you know what I mean.

    I'd just like to say though that recently I've found the British media quite balanced about Kosovo, granted there is some awful stuff but in general i find it OK. Most people here certainly don't hate serbia and Serbs, despite what the media may say about them (and I agree some of it is appalling) and I know quite a few people who are quite sympathetic to the serbs especially after what has just happened, I made up my own mind after reading all the information about it, that what was happening was wrong.

    I agree that some people's points of view on comments pages etc come across as very nationalistic (on both sides) and often a little bit disturbing, on both sides. I think it IS just the internet though, I mean anyone looking at comments pages on the BBC website would think that we all wanted to vote for the BNP, which is obviously not true.
    (hrb, 24 March 2008 03:57)

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  4. i dont see why they disqualified him a basic human right is the freedom of speech. kosovo je srbija thats a simple fact, the usa n un didnt have any business interefing in serbias business. america needs to learn that their time as the superpower of the world is nearing its end

    KOSOVO JE SRBIJA! all the serbian players will represent this =) woohoo AJDE!
    (KosovoJeSrbija, 23 March 2008 01:46)

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  5. Congratulations to the Serbs for being a true nation with real heroes. Europe prove itself to be again a puppet of the American politic. So I can wear a t shirt with free Tibet, the communist red star or with Che Guevara but I can't write about a simple real fact? As long as Serbia don't recognize Kosovo this is a state as much as Scotland is. Why not suspending all countries that don't accept Kosovo independence?

    Did USA ever got suspended for practicing segregation? Will somebody cancel the Olympics for Tibet? I guess not.
    (One, 22 March 2008 19:21)

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  6. Won't bother replying to most of these - the thread's gone cold.

    For smile, though, I'm sorry to have caused offence. I never said that every Serbian poster here was from the diaspora - I know full well that some aren't - just that I suspect many are. My point was that the Serbs I've met in the flesh (mostly in Serbia) are ON AVERAGE (a) less nationalist and (b) more reasoned in their arguments than people on here. That applies to Albanians too, for what it's worth. Still, I suppose that's par for the course with internet discussion boards.
    And on that note I'm signing off. There are people on here (you, bganon...) who actually debate, but mostly it's just incoherent ranting. I've had enough. Good luck to you all.
    (David, 22 March 2008 18:42)

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  7. i will abjectily aks for dave's permission to be a serb, living in serbia? am i allowed? or must i cower in front of the great white european man who says, no, you are in diaspora, you know nothing about serbia, i am the wise guy here :))
    no... well, dave, i am a serb, in serbia. voted for tadic a month ago along with a bunch of people around me. not happening again my good friend. we are unhappy with the pro euro parties and their performance. kosovo matters more than anything. cavis said it best god bless him.
    and can it be that exit is the only place in europe where one can get dope these days? :) many have a serious attachment to it.
    (smile, 22 March 2008 15:16)

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  8. David, Oh David,

    Now I learnt that I am nationalist. I would just like to point out that you are very wrong on this. Perhaps you and I have different views on nationalism and thus some misunderstandings are possible. In my opinion, no I am not nationalist but someone who really loves its own country. I do not hate or have any prejudices against the other national minorities in Serbia, on the contrary I think that they are our pearl. However, I really cannot respect or feel positively for the national minorities who see Serbs as their enemy, who cowardly kill Serbs and destabilize the country by all means. This particularly refers to Albanians.

    Well, I don’t have to know what your respond would be if Pakistanis or Indians were trying to take part of England and claim it as their own just for being majority in that particular part. And yes, when you next time visit Serbia try to find people who think differently than those that you usually meet.
    (bmrusila, 22 March 2008 11:31)

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  9. Dear David,
    imagine your hometown in britain to have been bombed by a russo-chinese military force alliance.

    Then how should you feel, if some russian one told you, oh,
    i love your country, its just some selfish politicians that lie, distort, etc...

    HOW WOULD YOU FEEL???
    (Pyrros, 22 March 2008 07:57)

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  10. David,
    Why don't you "visit" Serbia at least a few more times before you advise people, who live, breathe and bleed Serbia, how to respond when someone is ripping a piece of their soul(Kosovo) away from them. If yoy are not Serbian you may assume but you will never know just how deep Kosovo runs in all of us.
    (Goran, 22 March 2008 04:07)

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  11. @ “Serbia calls them the MUP now. (the railroad man, 22 March 2008 00:01)” - it stands for ‘Ministarstvo Unutrasnjih Poslova’ (Department of Internal Affairs)

    "I'd trust the British press over most other mainstream media (certainly over the US)" I would trust Al Jazeera over both of them, such is the level of objectivity and craftsmanship in their journalism compared to that of the BBC.
    I'm glad you are Anglo-Saxon, and at the risk of being stereotypical, we don't hate YOU people, we just believe there is a difference between right and wrong, and the morals behind this should be represented and spoken for, without regulating it against the social consequence and precedent.
    It may sound too idealistic but it is our WAY, it is what makes us DIFFERENT. If it leads to our doom, so be it, it is OUR doom.
    And please don’t reiterate Kipling’s equalitarianism, it is something of an insult to a nation of people, whose institutions outdate your own by a few centuries.
    As a person who I believe views himself as an equalitarian, LEAVE US ALONE, WE DON'T WANT YOU. We have always respected YOU and have even given our lives for YOU, but despite of a few confused ideologists, YOU won't pollute our way of thinking before you destroy us.
    "Freedom or death" may sound extremist, but on the view of things as they stand, you've pushed Serbs into a terribly acute corner.
    Why does it anger you that such a small country has a WILL for its future, a will to implement its own wishes?

    about the BBC - post me links to some articles about DARFOUR. How do you justify this?

    As for the decision on the shirt, it isn’t anti-Serbian, it is simply globalization gone wrong, at a time when Serbia is once again in the way of further Western ‘progress’ in the ‘third world’ and how dare those ‘COLD BLOODED BABY RAPISTS’ support an institution of International Law which has endured to keep a stability in Europe for over 50 years? How dare they dispute when the sheriff has issued a warrant?
    Gerrard Winstanley would be deeply ashamed my British colleague.

    This decision is yet another which will pollute this planet, from your children in Sussex to those in Rio de Janeiro, as the message it contains is a lot more perverse than the objective BBC viewer will be able to conclude.

    [link]

    KOSOVO JE SRBIJA!
    (YOUR WORLD ORDER, 22 March 2008 03:32)

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  12. He is a HERO ! Long live Serbia and Russia ! Kosovo is serbian land !
    (Alex von Schmidt, 22 March 2008 03:26)

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  13. Delije,

    Here you go again by calling me an anti-Serb because I dared to condemn your sportsman for his political message during a sport's event.
    I remember you are very proud of your native Vojvodina and of the great ethnic harmony there.
    So I just want to make you aware of 2 ethnic attacks today in Subitica, One against a Hungarian student in front of MESC technical high school by Serbian students and the other against the Chroatian store IDEA (bomb alert). You will probably tell me that the Hungarian student attacked several Serbs at the same time.
    (Joe, 22 March 2008 02:37)

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  14. What's done is done & it's completely unfair & ridiculous. This is one more reason why SERBIA doesn't need the EU.

    Moving forward, I truly hope that all the Hrvat atheletes that compete in any sports competition or ANYONE for that much should have their political background checked out prior to allowing them to compete & WIN - in this case, fair & well deserved.

    CCCC
    (GSP, 22 March 2008 01:39)

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  15. Good! More to come! The rest of the world already knows what language to speak to some of you out there.
    (Clean Cut, 22 March 2008 01:09)

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  16. Tom: am I take it you doubt my integrity? Well, not that it's exactly your business, but here you go: I've been doing academic research using Serbian material (not political) for a few years. I lived in Novi Sad for a while, also spent a lot of time in BG, a bit in Valjevo and visited a few other places, including Pristina. Haven't been back for a while now because of work but miss it.
    My friends are mostly students or university workers from BG and NS. Not exactly representative, I'll admit. Most vote DS or LDP. Almost all are sad to see Kosovo go, but only a few are truly angry about it, and even then not to the point of wanting to abandon EU integration. Others think it was lost in '99 and want to move on. One specifically said he wished the government would accept Ahtisaari. All are worried for the K-Serbs, of course, but the few I've talked to in the last couple of weeks thing that the BG government is hurting not helping right now.
    Most importantly as far as I'm concerned, most Serbs I know have a keen understanding of politics and - whatever their personal views - always argue in realistic and reasonable terms. Hence my recurrent bemusement at some of the nonsense on here.

    Hey, maybe I've just been lucky. I'd be interested to hear how (presumably) different your experience has been.
    (David, 22 March 2008 00:44)

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  17. Cavic should have thought about the repercusions of politicizing his swimming medals. He's an adult and as and adult he makes choices. He's lucky they didn't strip him of his medal. It's unfortunate, but it most definitely was a political statement. Too bad for him. I guess he'll learn to swim instead of politic the next time around, if there is a next time.
    (marti, 22 March 2008 00:44)

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  18. "Come visit when things settle down, you'll fall in love with country and the people."

    asvic ertom,
    Thanks for your comment - I appreciate it. You misunderstood slightly though: I already did visit, many times, and I already have fallen in love with the place. But that doesn't mean I support the Serb nationalist cause: I've always opposed British nationalists and I'll judge Serbs by the same scale. I don't begrudge Cavic his t-shirt, but he broke the rules and paid the price - in fact, the story only made UK news after the ban so it actually helped him get his message across, here at least.
    What I do object to is how so many people on here demonise the West in the way that you believe it demonises you. In fact, I don't think the picture painted of Serbs is nearly as bad as you think, at least not here in Britain. As I said before, Exit has been a godsend for you public image, but it's not just that.

    Western politicians act for their own selfish motives, just like Serbian politicians or any politicians for that matter. They lie, they distort - no arguments there. But you'd do better to try to understand their often Machiavellian motivations rather than assuming that they're all out to 'get' Serbia because of some irrational hatred. Some people seem to have lost touch with how international politics actually works, to the extent of thinking that the reaction of a swimming federation to an infringement is dictated by Brussels.

    What annoys me most of all are people sitting pretty in Vancouver, London or wherever and happily wishing isolation on their countrymen back home. Especially since some of those countrymen are good friends of mine who don't share their views.
    (David, 22 March 2008 00:30)

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  19. Another Canadian Serb: I have no idea what your reply (#55) means. Could you rephrase it?

    Rain: you're absolutely right. The UK media is not perfect and is often incomplete/one-sided - that's why I read B92. I was just making the point that this ban doesn't reflect some kind of public outcry about the t-shirt.
    That said, I'd trust the British press over most other mainstream media (certainly over the US). It may not always be fair, but it doesn't follow a government agenda. If you doubt that, I suggest you look up BBC/Guardian/Independent coverage of the run-up to the Iraq war.
    With regard to Kosovo in particular you're part right: there's no report of shots fired by NATO or of Vukmanovic(actually I was quite shocked by this when I checked), but UK media (e.g. Channel 4 News, Economist) did explain that the protestors were former employees. The BBC have also run stories about the plight of both Mitrovica and enclave K-Serbs in the past. Not a great record, admittedly, but not as bad as you suggest.

    I'm not entirely sure that broadcasting Cavic's t-shirt would have swayed many people's opinions anyway... :)
    (David, 22 March 2008 00:04)

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  20. He’ an American born in California went to Berkley. Another fine example of American training and conditioning. God bless America. He was All-American in hes junior year not all-Serbian. So I think we should move on because 2-million Albanian will not move out over night. Oh they did when the Serbia’s special police force went in to Kosova. Serbia calls them the MUP now.
    (the railroad man, 22 March 2008 00:01)

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  21. Congratulations to Cavic for his great performance.
    However, i do agree that he broke rules that were clearly stated. But, I think that they went overboard with the consequences. At least they didn't take away his gold medal.
    (Ivan, 21 March 2008 23:45)

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  22. Milorad Cavic is a Serbian hero and a hero of the human race.

    He has a gold medal to prove that and justice to uphold him.
    (Marko, 21 March 2008 22:57)

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  23. Until now I could not find ONE reasonable ARGUMENT, why someone should be allowed to break the regulations, which have to be respected by all the athletes at these Championships - not only by Serbian ones.

    What would you say, if another champion would show up at the ceremony with a T-Shirt: "Kosovo is not Serbia anymore" ???
    (rolerkoster, 21 March 2008 22:52)

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  24. David
    First things first, thanks for participating, at least you pay attention and care. You are proving my very point.
    We Serbs are not angels by any stretch of imagination but are far from evil yet picture that is being painted of us is so distorted and bizarre it would put Picasso to shame. Come visit when things settle down, you'll fall in love with country and the people. The West follows the same formula, demonize attack, blunder, demonize some more, and never, never admit mistakes. Western media is knee deep in that process and far from objective. I happen to know several languages and have seen over and over again stories where reporters blatantly misrepresented statements made in a different language. Yes, chances are that they believed their interpreters too much but I bet on tweaking the picture to fit the frame. Thus my statement on Moratorium on Truth.
    (asvic ertom, 21 March 2008 22:51)

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  25. Lets all come up with ideas for Cavke's new t-shirt!!!!
    (rain, 21 March 2008 22:35)

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  26. David, (#51)

    Having spenty a lot of time in Serbia myself (and I will be back again next month) I really wonder who you hang out with and what you actually do when you are in Serbia.
    (Tom O'Donoghue, 21 March 2008 22:26)

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  27. "It's not. I couldn't find a mention on the BBC website and it's the bottom item on the Guardian sports page."

    David

    Dear David that is exactly why.
    You'll never find in UK media any information that can prompt UK public to reevaluate mainstream view towards Serbs. No point for me here to explain what it is the one.
    You could read that the protesters storm the courthouse in Mitrovica but you couldn't find a word that said that protesters were the former court employee who were protesting since January, and that amongst them there were 25 woman.
    You could have read in all UK media that one UNMIK soldier lost his life in protests, but it was not for our public to be written of how many Serbs ended up with sniper and other fire weapon wounds and that the one protester is still struggling for life being shoot in head. You also couldn't find a sentence about an Unmik (american) soldier shhoting at protesters crowd two charges from the vehicle in motion...
    Just for ilustration how free and democratic are the media you realign on.
    Bro read Spiked, they are a bit better.
    (rain, 21 March 2008 21:37)

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  28. I personallly agree that there is no place for politics in the sport. I was against 1980 Moscow Olympics boycott by Western countries, as well as 1984 Los Angeles Olympics boycott by Warsaw block countries.
    Unfortunatelly, as with so many things, political messages in sports are sometimes welcomed and sometimes not.

    [link]

    "The delegation leader, Sanda Dubravcic-Simunjak, conducted what was more geopolitical seminar than Olympics news conference. It was promoted under the heading "Sports and War," and the Olympic media guide that was handed out was more about the country than its athletes. "

    and

    "And for every soldier on the front lines," said Vedran Pavlek, an 18-year-old Alpine skier. "
    etc.
    Yet, nobody was sent home.
    (Sreten, 21 March 2008 21:25)

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  29. John, free speech is allowed...if you're not Serbia.
    (nemanja90, 21 March 2008 21:08)

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  30. Did anybody else notice that the during the ceremony our flag was incomplete? They hate us (Serbs) we should accept it, it's nothing new. If he was wearing a Mladic or Karadzic shirt I could understand the punishment. Kosovo is Serbia and always will be. Just because the US
    says it's not, it doesn't mean it isn't. By all legal rights Kosovo IS Serbia. This is the crucial time for our country and we NEED, I repeat NEED Radicals to come to power. That is if we want Kosovo.

    Oj, Kosovo, Kosovo
    Zemljo moja voljena
    Zemlja hrabrih vitezova, Lazara i Milosa.
    (nemanja90, 21 March 2008 21:06)

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  31. David,
    are you in denial or are you you just ignorant with details and facts. The fact is that the "European Swimming Governing Body" encompasses Serbia, just as the EU members encompass Serbia on the positon of Kosovo. Do you not see any direct parallels drawn here.
    David,
    please advise what you think would have happened if this event was a world competition held in Canada or Russia.
    I bet nothing would have happened because there really is no story here.
    Since there is no real story here, one must be fabricated by the so called European Bla Bla Bla Swimming Governing Body.

    David,
    have you forgotten that
    "Kosovo is Serbian"
    now
    that is the real troubling story!
    (Another Canadian Serb, 21 March 2008 20:59)

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  32. Some of you asked would he have been suspended if he wore “Free Tibet”, and the answer to that is yes. But the real analogues comparison would be this: would he have been suspended if he wore a short saying “Tibet is China”? He only replaced the name of Tibet for Kosovo and China for that of Serbia. He should have been suspended in both cases anyway.

    Notice how most of commentators reach out to fascism and World War II for comparison. Really? This kind of delusion is unprecedented and it’s not going to harm anybody else but you. I hope this is not a representative sample of public opinion in Serbia, because this kind of siege mentality will destroy your country. For God’s sake, wake up and realize the planet earth does not spin around Serbia.
    (BalkanUpdate, 21 March 2008 20:54)

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  33. What a Joke! This is disgusting as Cavic was just pointing out that all Serbs in all walks of life support Kosovo as an integral part of Serbia. I guess free speech is no longer allowed in this world.
    (John, 21 March 2008 20:34)

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  34. "The fact that Europe is up in arms about a ...T-Shirt" (asvic ertom)

    It's not. I couldn't find a mention on the BBC website and it's the bottom item on the Guardian sports page. Not exactly headline news. Seriously, no-one who isn't a Balkan-watcher or a swimming enthusiast cared about the t-shirt, or for that matter the subsequent ban.

    So unless you think a SWIMMING FEDERATION is a reliable mouthpiece of European opinion, you don't really have a point.
    (David, 21 March 2008 20:18)

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  35. "the slogan was in Cyrillic, unreadable to everyone except Serbians" (Ivan)

    Excuse me? When did Cyrillic become the exclusive preserve of Serbians? I'm English and I can read it, never mind Bulgarians, Ukrainians, Russians...

    "Why doesn't EU stick to its policies in all circumstances?" (Boki)

    What on earth has this got to do with the EU? Neither LEN nor UEFA are remotely connected to Brussels. Yeah, so the EU decided to express its collective will through an independent swimming federation which isn't even restricted to member states. Right. Of course.

    "Had an Albanian worn a "Free Kosova" shirt a year ago, I scarcely think any action would have been taken." (Mike)

    I think it probably would. But we're both just speculating. Who knows. Why not stick to the facts?

    "The board is RACIST" (Delije)

    Mate, if you'd ever been the victim of real racism you'd think twice before throwing this kind of unfounded accusation around. How can you possibly know that?

    "Europe hates Serbia and everything Serbian" (asvic ertom)

    Oh, really? Does Europe get a say in this or have you decided on the opinions of 490 million people already? This vision of a Serb-hating Europe is pure fantasy. I suppose I'm anti-Serb too, for saying all this? I love Serbia, and Serbs, I just hate ignorance and nationalism. If I didn't care about Serbia, I wouldn't even bother wasting my time arguing with you lot... opinions like the ones posted here give the country a bad name that it really doesn't deserve.

    I'm guessing there's a fairly high proportion of diaspora amongst the Serbian posters here? In all the time I've spent in Serbia itself I've only ever met one person with views as nationalist as bmrusila, Princip, Ivan, Gashi, etc.
    (David, 21 March 2008 20:08)

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  36. There is an obvious moratorium on truth in the Western media. Only news that trickles through is in case of extreme actions (burning ah embassy, taking over a court...) or one painting Serbs in bad light. The fact that Europe is up in arms about a ...T-Shirt shows how uncomfortable they are with their poor decision making regarding KosovO. I am sure that many who recognized inDependency have done so with a heavy heart (yes I do believe there are few good ones left out there). One thing is for sure, they would like nothing else but for KosovO problem to go away. My advice is, crack the history books, Turks tried for centuries to exterminate Serbs and just made them more resolute. We always talked about CCCC, now we might finally get it, thanks to US, NATO, EU, UN and their Depleted Uranium diplomacy. I for one am proud of our boy, he knew what the price might be which makes him a hero, and forever a champion.
    (asvic ertom, 21 March 2008 19:43)

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  37. I wonder in which direction Europe is going.
    (italy, 21 March 2008 19:40)

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  38. Now that they're telling you which shirts you can and can not wear, does anybody in Serbia still believe the West is as "democratic" as it keeps telling you it is?
    (Brian, 21 March 2008 18:55)

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  39. As a serb, i think politics should be kept away from sports. He probably deserved to be punished , even that is sad to see that happen. Kosova is serbian.
    (vlad, 21 March 2008 18:49)

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  40. These fascists are trying to demoralize and destroy Serbia in every possible way. Bravo to this swimmer!
    (Ratko, 21 March 2008 18:44)

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  41. Kosova and Serbia are two different states now. As a previous visitor here has said that he can express his feeling, but he did that at wrong moment and place. I feel sorry about you sir.
    (G, 21 March 2008 18:12)

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  42. He got lucky: the slogan was in Cyrillic, unreadable to everyone except Serbians. If it was in Latin, and in English, he would have been shot or his hands would be severed? In Nazi Croatia Cyrillic alphabet was banned by law --- how do you think this EU decision will echo in Serbia?
    (Ivan, 21 March 2008 18:07)

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  43. Why doesn't EU stick to its policies in all circumstances? For example, if they never wanted to mix politics with sports, why did they forbid Serbia to compete for Euro 92 football championship ? This was one more example of an idiotic brains, that will use every awfull thing immaginable just to reach their life goals of power and control. And on their way they are willing to step over all of the rules they say they stand for. How pitifully. These are big and moronic complexses.
    (Boki, 21 March 2008 17:31)

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  44. Feel free to voice your displeasure at the LEN decision by sending them an email: len@lenoffice.it

    Of course, please keep it civil. Just tell them how disappointed you are with their decision to punish someone for expressing a viewpoint that is, in all regards, the truth. Their decision was heavy-handed and one-sided.
    (Nate, 21 March 2008 17:18)

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  45. Cavic should have accepted gold medal only if kosovo remains with serbia. That should be common policy with all serbian people. Before we consume anything from the west, we should ask ourselves, is kosovo part of serbia? because if not, we should reject
    (Aca, 21 March 2008 17:18)

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  46. Well done Cavic,

    As previous posters have pointed out, if an 'Independent Kosova', 'Free Tibet', 'Civil Rights for Aboriginies', 'Save the Whales/fishies/dolphins/fluffy bunnies, 'Drop the debt', 'End Third World Poverty or 'Greenpeace' t-shirt had been worn all Cavic would have got was a warning and mainstream media would have applauded him.

    We all remember how YU were expelled from the Barcelona Olympics and Euro '92 in Sweden for POLITICAL REASONS. Not to mention the Olympic boycotts of US and USSR resepctively in '80 and '84 respectively and the international sporting boycott of apartheid South Africa. This move smacks of more double standards and hypocricy from the organisers.

    All his fellow competitors or those who are sympathetic to his plight should wear the exact same t-shirt.
    (Niall O'Doherty, 21 March 2008 17:12)

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  47. this is a truly pathetic decision , to start with only a serb or who can read cerilic can understand it ? if he had "no nukes" or free tibet it wouldnt even be a news item . good on him .
    (lee coleman , london UK ., 21 March 2008 17:09)

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  48. Right on Ana and other pro-Serb postings. It is even worse than what you described. How about all the Yugoslav/Serbian sportsmen and women who were not allowed to participate in the 1992 Olympics or Euro 1992 when Yugoslavia qualified before Denmark that later took its place and won the championship. A whole generation lost the opportunity for a good sports career. Then it was OK to mix politics and sports. How come there was no boycot against Croatia and Bosnia? Double standards! The worse I think was the shameful thing that Dutch football "fans" did during Euro 2000. Before the game The Netherlands-Yugoslavia and during the Yugoslav national anthem the Dutch fans turned their back to the field and I think some part made noise. Why? There was no war that Serbia was involved in. Was is frustration because of the Dutch debacle at Srebrenica? Why is there no boycot against the US because of Iraq? There is one positive thing. There are hardly any worldclass Albanian sportsmen and women (and definitely none from Kosovo) and so at least we will not have to look at lies on t-shirts that say "Kosovo is Albanian". Also do not forget that some of the negative remarks here are because they come from people in countries that in terms of sports are much less capable than Serbia (and so maybe they are a bit jealous). The sweetest memory. Yugoslavia becoming the 2002 world champion basketball in the US (and beating the US at home) and Yugoslavia won the most (5) of all countries!
    (Jan (Amsterdam), 21 March 2008 17:03)

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  49. bmrusila,

    you're right, the world is trying to stop serbia from grabbing all the gold medals
    (Willy Nilly, 21 March 2008 17:03)

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  50. If Cavic wore message: “Free Tibet” he would be granted for it.
    (Ivan - Toronto, 21 March 2008 17:00)

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  51. The board is RACIST, Mr. Fair. And it seems to me that anything Serbian in Europe is considered a bad thing. Tommy, get real man, it's only a t-shirt. it's what he beleaves in. Punish him for that, please. I think that their angry that a Serb won. Anything to put a Serb down. Joe, I'm not suprised by your comment it's always so predictable. Why are you so anti-Serb. Is it because the Vojvodina is 75% Serbian populated. I also agree with you Elton. Joe, the racist wold brought us to this mentality. Same as you and all your anti-Serb comments here. llija, more like Serb hunt's, lol.
    (Delije, 21 March 2008 16:59)

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  52. I think it would have been better to wear a t-shirt with only the card of Serbia.
    (Joachim, 21 March 2008 16:56)

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  53. Oh God, I can’t believe! They definitely got afraid that Cavic is going to win more golden medals and make new records. How amusing!

    Cavic, you are brave and you are our Serbian pride. Serbia is with you, we love you!
    (bmrusila, 21 March 2008 16:32)

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  54. This act makes me totally sick to my stomach. How could wearing a single t-shirt with a small slogan such as that get you dis-qualified from the tournament. This is just another example of double-standards towards the Serbian people. The US and the EU hate anyone who speaks the truth about Kosovo and tries with any means possible to silence them. Well done Cavic for standing up for your people, you are a true Serbian hero!
    (Petar, 21 March 2008 16:13)

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  55. What a disgraceful decision by a bunch of chicken brains. What he has on his shirt, 'Kosovo is Serbia', is a fact. Kosovo is legally part of Serbia, and I challenge these morons to prove it otherwise!!
    It is no different than having on your shirt 'New York is America', or 'Ontario is Canada'. Cavic and Serbia should take these idiots to court, they would win hands down.
    Europe has sold its soul to the devil.
    (Dragan, 21 March 2008 16:03)

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  56. He wanted to be political ... Very Good ... So it was the Decision as well! Why make such a big fuss about it? He deserves that, and such can be a very good lesson for all other sport players, who want to send "good vibes" to their nations! Keep sending your "good vibes", while swimming in Danube from now on, because that's where he will swim for the rest of his life!
    (Mr_NiceGuy, 21 March 2008 15:55)

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  57. Well that's a right decision. This gives to european community a bad image. So I agree with the board;s decision. Thanks!
    (Adi, 21 March 2008 15:52)

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  58. The penalty seems excessive to me. I didn't realize that international organizations feel so threatened by Serbian remarks that they overreact like this. That tells me they realize they are on shaky ground.
    (Nicholas Klinsman, 21 March 2008 15:51)

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  59. Wow and now the witch hunts have begun. Congratulations on your victories Mr. Cavic. Stick with your morals and don't let the witchhunters tarnish your image.
    (Ilija, 21 March 2008 15:41)

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  60. Sports have always been fused with politics and this is nothing new:

    The Black Power salute at the 1972 Games

    The Aboriginee flag flown by one of Austrialia's Aboriginee athletes at the Sydney Games

    The Western boycott of the 1980 Olympics, and the Soviet boycott of the 1984.

    I won't even begin to explain the 1936 games.

    This event with Čavić is no different, and I'm surprised he received the punishment he did. But obviously, we can't have dissenting opinion in Western Europe, so we have to stifle it.

    And it's no surprise to see the same predicatble people here suddently applauding this as a lawful and right thing to do simply because it translates into anti-Serbian rhetoric to stroke their own egos. Had an Albanian worn a "Free Kosova" shirt a year ago, I scarcely think any action would have been taken.

    Anyway, dumb move, and it still doesn't take away Čavić's accomplishments, and it still doesn't take away the bitterness many feel over this highly controversial land grab a month ago.
    (Mike, 21 March 2008 15:40)

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  61. I just wonder if athletes with T-shirts with notices "Scotland is UK", "Catalonia is Spain" or at the end "Texas is USA" would be given the same punishment. At the end Kosovo is still part of Serbia by UN and only 30 countries in the world recognize Kosovo like independent.
    (serz, 21 March 2008 15:35)

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  62. Joe
    I hope you are consequent and based on principle of baron Pierre de Cuberten you also condemn what was done to serb sportsmen when thay were excluded in 1992 from major sport events based on political decision.That act was much more political than this shirt-case.
    (szemi, 21 March 2008 15:30)

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  63. Gashi,

    What is astonishing and shocking is that you and so many of your countrymen feel that general rules and regulations are not for you...just for other people.
    What brought you to this mentality? This decision should serve as an occasion for some reflection and soul searching. Everybody should understand that sports s/b free of politics.
    (Joe, 21 March 2008 15:23)

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  64. Serbia has world class athletes and for a small country that number scares all inbreads abroad.
    In punishing one they count on punishing whole nation.
    Well they gonna have their hands full,knowing Serbian people they just opened can of worms.
    Albanistan better start importing people to show the world this was worth it.
    (lids, 21 March 2008 14:57)

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  65. As an Albanian I don't agree with his statement but I believe that he has the right to express his feeling at a time when his nation is going through such a tough time.

    I agree that sport and politics should be kept separate but he's a human being first and swimmer second and he shouldn't be penalized for that.
    (Elton, NYC, 21 March 2008 14:54)

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  66. I hope Radicals will rub the EU bloc and their stupid noses in this. We've been here before. Back then we though it was because of Milosevic, now we know its pure and simple anti-Serb. Serbs will fight back.

    Kosovo IS Serbia, fascists. Send a squad to gun down 100 Serbs for every 1 time this is said. It won't change one bit. See you at the end of this. At the end of this we will be the winners once again, and you will be filed under the same chapter with the Ottomans, Austrians, and the Nazis.
    (Gashi, 21 March 2008 14:42)

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  67. This was an excellent, correct decision. A clear message had to be sent that politics have no place in sport.
    This was also a key principle of baron Pierre de Cuberten, the main promotor and organizer of the first modern Olympic Games.
    (Joe, 21 March 2008 14:42)

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  68. Not a wise decision but I don’t understand why did he do it?
    I think that decision is as a reaction to the provocation done by the swimmer. I really do sympathies with Serbian comments in here but one should learn not to send provocative messages to the world especially if you are not in position do to so.

    Also messages like this are a bit insulting to Albanians that play for Serb national team. This decision will serv best Serbian sport, I am sure.
    (Olf, 21 March 2008 14:35)

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  69. Good God guys, listen to yourselves. He broke the rules; he got punished. Perhaps a harsh decision - a fine might have been more appropriate given the sensitivity of the issue - but he was aware of the rules and ignored them. His choice, his risk, his loss. And yes, it is a shame for the other competitors.
    You can't just blame everything on an anti-Serb conspiracy or some pervasive western "ant-Serbianism". It just doesn't exist. You come and talk to young educated people in the UK (for example) - there simply is no such anti-Serb feeling. Perhaps in the '90s (I'm too young to comment on that) but not now. Admittedly, Exit has been a big part of breaking it down, but the result is that - at least in the circles I move in - Serbs are seen as friendly, intelligent (not to mention attractive) people. Which, in my experience, they mostly are.
    So please, get over the persecution complex. Čavić paid the price for an infringement. Simple as that.

    That is, of course, unless you think LEN has been infiltrated by CIA agents? Or bought by the famous Albanian lobby, perhaps?
    (David, 21 March 2008 14:32)

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  70. So much for the free speech.
    If the shirt celebrated "inDependent Kosovo" he'd be honored for raising above politics and cheered. Europe hates Serbia and everything Serbian. Serbia has been hard to control, unpredictable and obstacle to fulfillment of German dreams and final completion of WWII. Close your eyes and imagine EU police on Belgrade streets, that is the future of Serbia in EU.
    (asvic ertom, 21 March 2008 14:06)

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  71. as a professional athlete, he will have known that it could lead to this kind of consequences showing support for poeple in despair...

    Mr. Cavic, now we can see how a real hero looks like, not like those clowns taci and haradinai and what ever they call themselves...

    THIS is what hero´s are made of!
    (Jovan, 21 March 2008 13:48)

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  72. Serbs can't even wear a T- Shirt where the "Kosovo" word is written...soon you will be seing the Kosovo participating in diffirent sport activities and it has allready, in tabletennis in China, a country who did not want to recongnize Kosovo.
    (Victory, 21 March 2008 13:33)

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  73. Had he wore ' Free Tibet'
    would he be disqualified?
    No! Of course.
    It has been done many times before.
    I remember Drazen Petrovic on a basketball match of Yugoslavian representation coming out with 'Sahovnica' what was to become in the near future the Croatian flag. Apart trouble with Divac, there were no any disqualification on international level.
    Cowardice and fascism we are plunging in.
    (rain, 21 March 2008 13:28)

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  74. This is a sad development as this chap is obviously a world-class swimmer.
    Is it possible for the Serbian government to adopt the slogan KOCOBO JE CPБИJA as an official state symbol? That should sort out the difficulties regarding the organisation’s rules.
    (Tom O'Donoghue, 21 March 2008 13:15)

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  75. Very bad and uncivilized decision of tha LAN authorities. To punish a young man, who did big efforts to reach gold medail?!! I wander if he had shirt with message "freedom for homosexuals" or "Tibet", what would happen?
    This is isannity of LAN bureocracy. If I remember well, all Serbian sportists were roughly sanctioned during 90-s. It was politics as well. CONGRATULATION CAVIC.
    (Garry, 21 March 2008 12:56)

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  76. Sad, sad, sad...for how long are you going to hate us! Let us be!!!!
    Serbia is all we got, no more no less...
    (Darko, 21 March 2008 12:39)

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  77. I thought all you Western Europeans stated that you were run by a democracy. Evidently, Western
    European democracy is a facade and does not tolerate political awareness. Cavic's suspension has nothing to do with the slogan on his t-shirt, but everything to do with promoting anti Serbianism. I guess it is bad enough that a Serb won the 50 metre race, lets not allow a Serb to win any more gold medals in our competitions.
    I hope the remaining Serbian World Class Athletes, such as Djokovic, Ivanovic and Jankovic, wear the same sloganed t-shirt, if and when they win their tennis tournaments.
    I hope this story of suspension reaches North America North America, because it is the biggest piece of propoganda so far.
    I would hate to be one of the remaining swimmers in the competition, knowing full well that they will not be competing with Europe's best and that their medal will be just handed to them.
    This gesture from the Europeans does not relate to the following statement
    "The door is still open for Serbia"
    This suspension is symbolic to Serbia, in that they are not wanted in the EU and therefore should vote against EU membership.
    Finally, i would recommend that Milorad Cavic apply for political refugee status in Canada. Canada could use a world class swimmer and they never would have suspended Cavic for a t-shirt slogan because Canada is a true democratic soceity.

    Kosovo is Serbian
    (Another Canadian Serb, 21 March 2008 12:34)

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  78. t-shirt worn by the new European record holder

    “contained a political message”

    There is actually no political message there it is simply stating the truth almost like wearing a t-shirt that says 1+1=2.

    Well done to this fine Serb and I wish him many more gold medals in the future!

    p.s he should have worn it once he had won the other medals and then he would have no problems.
    (Vuk, 21 March 2008 12:20)

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  79. Well, at least sport should be saved from politics. Good decision!
    (Blerim, 21 March 2008 11:37)

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  80. Stupid move
    (Leona, 21 March 2008 11:30)

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  81. А harsh decision. Čavić's gesture, as understandable to the Serbs as it may be, was going to draw a penalty - but that could have been a fee and a warning.
    This way, LEN shows it's prone to applying doubel standards which makes their decision more political and offensive than Čavić's.
    (npb, 21 March 2008 11:23)

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  82. I am very happy for this event because a clear message was sent to Serbian sportists,,, Do not mix sports with politics. Serbian sportists are used to take steps backwards in sport isolation. And you paid the consequences and if you the sportists continue to do this you will paid it again
    (Tommy, 21 March 2008 11:13)

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  83. I'm suprised they didn't break out the riot gear!
    (Joel, 21 March 2008 11:06)

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  84. Double standards again! I am not saying if he did right or wrong, but I do think that the Croatian basketball team leaving the ceremony as soon as the Serbian basketball got their golden medal 10 years ago in some EU championship was a much worst thing to do. They were told to do so by their government. And nothing happened to them...
    Won't even mention the participation at the Olympics in Berlin in front of Hitler where the British team saluted with the nazi hand up Hitler! That was right, isn't it?

    But a shirt with Kosovo is Serbia makes this huge scandal!!!

    What are we talking about here? If he had that tatoo instead of the shirt, what would have happened then?

    I'm pretty sure that if Cavic had a "Free Tibet" shirt nothing would have happended...
    (Ana, 21 March 2008 11:04)

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  85. this is a fair decision. Once and for all should sports not be mixed with politics. Congratulations to the board.Regards from Kosovo, which is Kosovo, not anything else.
    (fair, 21 March 2008 10:43)

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