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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Qatar omits Israeli flag from Swimming World Cup

Organizers of the Swimming World Cup meet in Qatar may be in hot water after omitting the Israeli flag from parts of the competition.

Viewers watching Sunday’s contest may have noticed that Israel’s flag was absent from computer graphics and the country’s name was only shown as “IRS,” instead of Israel, according to a report in the Times of Israel.

In several races, organizers showed a plain, white flag instead of the Israeli one, and failed to broadcast some races featuring Israeli swimmers. The Israeli flag—which features the Star of David symbol—was also removed from the venue in Doha.

Swimmer Amit Ivri won silver in the women’s 100-meter individual medley and broke an Israeli record, but described her experience at the games as “highly unpleasant.” She also pointed out that the Israeli flag was raised when she received her medal.

“I’d much rather not talk about politics,” Ivri told Army Radio.

Ivri told reporters she’s had a warmer reception at previous races in Dubai. Gal Nevo-- who finished fifth in the men’s 200-meter individual medley in Qatar-- said Israel was airbrushed from the graphics in the early stages of the Dubai event, but that later there was “an improvement” in the situation.

Israeli lawmaker Yoel Rozbozov called the treatment of the Israeli delegation “shameful to all participants,” and says he plans to file an official complaint with the International Olympic Committee and the International Swimming Federation.

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