Australian Olympic official says torch relay must go on

Other News Materials 9 April 2008 11:07 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Australia's most senior Olympic official said Wednesday that the torch relay would continue despite protests in London, Paris and San Francisco.

International Olympic Committee vice-president Kevan Gosper said there would be no demonstrations when the torch reaches China.

"Protesting peacefully is acceptable, but protesting violently that puts people at risk of injury or even worse we think is pretty disappointing," Gosper told Australia's ABC Radio. "Everybody understands there's emotion around Tibet, but no one can condone violent interruption."

Gosper admitted the decision to award the Games to Beijing was a collective decision.

"I have to say if I had the chance to make my vote again, I would take the chance and vote for Beijing," Gosper said. "It is a country that is opening up. Human rights, while still a criticism across the world, have improved dramatically."