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Bhutia to skip Olympic torch relay
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April 01, 2008 11:53 IST

Defending his decision to pull out of the Olympic torch relay, Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia, on Tuesday, said he abhors violence and it was his way of showing solidarity with the people of Tibet [Images].

"I sympathise with the Tibetan cause. I'm against violence but I thought I should stand by the Tibetan people in their fight," Bhutia said, giving a shot in the arm for the growing Tibetan protest to the Beijing [Images] Olympic Games.

The mercurial forward from Sikkim, himself a Buddhist, said he has already conveyed his decision to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to skip the April 17 relay when the torch arrives in Delhi.

"I have given a letter to the IOA refusing to be part of the torch relay. I don't want to say anything else," Bhutia said.

Apart from Bhutia, former athletes PT Usha, GS Randhawa and Milkha Singh have also been invited to run with the Olympic flame, which was launched on its 130-day global tour through 135 cities before returning to Beijing's National Stadium on August 8 for the opening ceremony.

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