• London Olympics 2012

2012 Olympics logo accused of being 'racist'

ESPN staff
February 28, 2011
The logo for the 2012 Olympics has been branded 'racist' by representatives of Iran's Olympic committee © Getty Images

Iran have threatened to boycott the 2012 Olympic Games in London after claiming the official logo for the event is 'racist'.

Iranian officials believe the logo, which comprises primarily of the number '2012' in a distinctive font, also spells out the word 'Zion' - a term often used to describe Jerusalem and the Jewish state of Israel, of which Iran and a number of other Islamic countries in the area are sworn enemies.

Iran's Olympic committee have written to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to complain about the logo, although London organisers have moved quickly to refute any allegations.

"The London 2012 logo represents the year 2012, nothing else," a spokesperson said. "It was launched in 2007 following testing and consultation, we are surprised that this complaint has been made now."

A letter written by Mohammad Aliabadi, head of Iran's Olympic committee, to IOC president Jacques Rogge was republished by the state-run Iran Labour News Agency, in which Aliabadi complained about the 'rascist' nature of the distinctive logo.

"Unfortunately, we all are witnessing that the upcoming Olympics... faces a serious challenge, definitely spawned out of some people's racist spirit," Aliabadi reportedly wrote.

"The use of the word Zion by the designer of Olympics logo ...in the emblem of the Olympics Games 2012 is a very revolting act."

However, the IOC have rejected the claims, despite Aliabadi's threat that retaining the logo might "affect the participation of several countries, especially like Iran which insists on following principles and values".

"The London 2012 logo represents the figure 2012, nothing else," an IOC statement reiterated.

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