Two incidents, both despicable:
In a photo that was taken in a pre-Olympics advertisement for a courier company that sponsors the Spanish federation, Pau Gasol and friends, winners of the 2006 FIBA World Championship and a strong medal favorite, posed with their index fingers pulling back the skin by the corner of their eyes.
“It seemed to us to be something appropriate and that it would always be interpreted as an affectionate gesture,” JosÃ© Calderon, the point guard who plays professionally in the N.B.A. for Toronto, wrote on an Internet site. “I want to express that we have great respect for the Orient and its people.”
In a far worse demonstration of contempt, an Iranian swimmer called in sick to his swimming heat to avoid getting into the pool with an Israeli. That was a truly revolting development â€” a flagrant foul that went unpunished.
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