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IOC critical of Spanish basketball team ad

August 14, 2008 |  2:48 am

A man in Madrid, on August 13, 2008, looks at an advertisment that appeared in the Spanish daily sports newspaper Marca featuring Spains national basketball team members in uniform pulling back the skin on their eyelids, and smiling. The controversial photo is making the rounds on the Internet, and may be considered racially insensitive.

BEIJING -- The International Olympic Committee has weighed in on the advertisement featuring the Spanish men's basketball team that some have deemed offensive because it mimics the eyes of Chinese.

"Clearly, it was inappropriate,'' IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said Thursday.

"But we understand the team apologized and the athletes meant no offense whatever. So, as far as we are concerned, the matter rests.''

The ad was for Seur a courier company based in Madrid. The company said it had no plans to pull the ad. But the Times' Bill Plaschke and Mark Heisler both weighed in on the ad earlier.

-- Randy Harvey

Photo: A man in Madrid looks at an advertisement that appeared in the Spanish daily sports newspaper Marca featuring Spain's national basketball team members in uniform pulling back the skin on their eyelids, and smiling.  Credit: Miguel Riopa AFP/Getty Images

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