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Home > Sports > Tennis > Report

Don't mix Tibet and torch relay: Paes

Deepti Patwardhan in Delhi | April 09, 2008 20:31 IST

Leander Paes [Images] is known to wear his heart on his sleeve. You can count on India's Davis Cup captain to be passionate about the Olympics [Images].

A bronze medalist at the 1996 Atlanta Games, Paes, who will participate in his fifth Games at Beijing [Images], did not support the protests on the Olympic torch route.

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The Olympic flame has been a target of a massive anti-China protests due to the situation in Tibet [Images], and Indian football captain Baichung Bhutia pulled out of the torch relay last week as a "gesture of solidarity" for the struggle in the Himalayan country.

"I think people should recognise the difference between the Olympic movement and the governmental movement in China," said Paes. "It's not correct to mix the two."

"If you look at it, even when my dad (Dr. Vece Paes) collected his bronze medal at the 1972 Games (in Munich), the Israeli-Palestenian situation had developed but the Olympic association found a way to keep the Games going, they did not stop."

Paes said he has been invited for the torch relay, to be held in New Delhi on April 17, but whether he will carry the torch, we "would find out soon".