LAUSANNE: Gian-Franco Kasper, veteran Swiss president of international sku federation FIS, has apologised for the extraordinary manner in which he rejected calls to ban Russia from next year’s Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang.

Kasper, a 73-year-old member of the governing executive board of the International Olympic Committee, compared demands for a ban with the Holocaust.

Reportedly he told his exbo colleagues: “We are here to protect the clean athletes not to punish them. I am just against bans or sanctioning of innocent people. Like Mr Hitler did – all Jews were to be killed, independently of what they did or did not do.”

Subsequently Kasper apologised for his comments.

The IOC media department ┬áissued.via Twitter, his statement: “I apologise unreservedly for any offence I have caused – I am truly sorry.”