Serb suspended from Euro championships over Kosovo
Swimmer Milorad Čavić has been suspended from the European Swimming Championships in Eindhoven.Source: B92, Tanjug
Čavić wore a t-shirt with the message “Kosovo is Serbia” during the medals ceremony for the 50 meters butterfly, where he won gold.
The European swimming governing body LEN decided that the t-shirt worn by the new European record holder “contained a political message” which contravened the organization’s rules.
“We have decided to suspend Mr. Milorad Čavić from the championships,“ reads a statement from the disciplinary commission.
The Serbian Swimming Organization has been fined EUR 7000.
Čavić had been due to compete in the 100 meters freestyle and the 100 meters butterfly. Even though he will not be allowed to take part, it has been decided not to strip him of his gold medal.
The swimmer said yesterday that he had only been trying to send "positive energy to the country he represents."
President Boris Tadić condemned LEN's decision, stating that "Milorad Čavić in no way wished to politicize this big European competition with this gesture, or to bring politics into sport, rather it was led by a feeling of injustice inflicted on the country he represents."
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica called on "reasonable and responsible people" within the governing body to allow Čavić to continue competing, deeming the decision to ban him "a defeat for sport," adding that the swimmer was ready to "keep winning and breaking European records."