Ukraine Sochi Olympics Unrest Kiev Medals Athletes Black Armband
Ukrainian athletes such as Olympic skier Dmytro Mytsak will not be allowed to wear a black armband to commemorate the 25 killed in Kiev unrestReuters

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has rejected a request to wear black armbands at the Sochi Winter Olympics to remember the deaths of 25 policemen and protesters killed in the Kiev protests.

Ukrainian athletes wished to remember the fallen by wearing the symbolic black armband but have been banned from doing so as such action contravenes the Olympic charter.

The former Soviet republic's Olympic association released a statement stating that athletes were not allowed to mark the "deep pain over the loss of fellow countrymen" with black armbands because "in accordance with the Olympic charter it is not possible to do this".

The association said that the athletes wished to wear the symbolic garments as "a sign of mourning, an expression of sorrow and sympathy".

Despite the presence of sponsorship at the Olympics, the IOC makes it a goal to remain as impartial as possible, refraining from any symbolism that may be deemed "political".

The IOC also banned Norway from allowing its athlete's to wear helmet stickers in memory of Canadian skier Sarah Burke who died in an accident two years ago.

Mark Adams, the IOC spokesman, stated that there was no place for political protests at the Olympic games and refused to comment on the detention of punk group Pussy Riot.

"I understand that what happened yesterday wasn't in the context of any demonstration against the Games, so at the moment I don't have any relationship at all with that incident."

Sergey Bubka, the head of the Ukrainian delegation to Sochi and former Pole Vault star, took to Twitter to appeal to both sides of the conflict to down arms.

"I want to bring Olympic truce to my country. Dialogue is power, violence is weakness," he wrote.

"Our athletes are competing hard in Sochi but peacefully and with honour. Violence has no place in the World."

Ukraine is currently teetering on the edge of civil war after a day of unrest which saw 25 anti-government demonstrators and policemen killed and 250 injured.

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