TBILISI, DFWatch – Organizers of the London Olympics have stepped into a diplomatic minefield after mistakenly referring to two athletes born in Georgian breakaway republics as Russians.
On the official website of the London Olympics, Deni Tsargushi is described as born in Gudauta, a town in the breakaway region Abkhazia, which Georgia considers occupied by Russia. Besik Khudukhovi is described as born in another breakaway region called South Ossetia, also that area is considered an Russian-occupied territory by Georgia.
The London Olympics organizers caused much activity on Georgian discussion boards when they noted in brackets that both athletes were actually born in Russia, by using the country code RUS in brackets after the name of their birthplace.
After the story was picked up by Georgian journalists, Georgia’s Olympic Committee sent a clear demand to the organizing committee of the London Olympics that the two athletes’ birthplaces must be indicated as Georgia – GEO.
Now, the committee has partly satisfied Georgia’s request: RUS has been removed from their birth place annotation, which now diplomatically only says ‘South Ossetia’ and ‘Gudauta’, with no country code.