Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou has been expelled from the London Olympics by Greece, after she made offensive Twitter comments about African immigrants and expressed her support for a far-right party.
The 23-year-old track and field star is from Athens and would have been competing in her first Olympics.
On July 22, Papachristou posted on Twitter: "So many Africans in Greece at least West Nile mosquitoes will eat homemade food." Fifty-four people marked the tweet as a "favorite" on Twitter.
The Greek athlete later apologized on Twitter and Facebook, saying that she was just making a joke. "I would like to express my heartfelt apologies for the unfortunate and tasteless joke I published on my personal Twitter account. I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights. My dream is connected to the Olympic Games and I could not possibly participate if I did not respect their values. Therefore, I could never believe in discrimination between human beings and races," she wrote.
But the damage had already been done. The IOC, the Olympic governing body, has strict guidelines on what athletes can and cannot say on social media sites. The Hellenic Olympic Committee said in a statement Wednesday that Papachristou is "placed outside the Olympic team for statements contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement."
This is the first case of an athlete's being expelled from the Olympics for social media use.
Papachristou's Tweet is clearly offensive, but did she deserve to get banned from the Olympic games for it? Is the Hellenic Olympic Committee's move an invasion of free speech? Weigh in below in the comments section.