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China Denies Politicizing Olympics After IOC Rebuke

China denies it is failing to keep the Olympic Games and politics separate after a Communist party official criticized the Dalai Lama at a torch relay ceremony in Tibet.

The Chinese foreign ministry Thursday said the official's comments did not contradict China's opposition to politicizing the Olympics.

The ministry said the comments were meant to create a stable environment for the Olympics.

Earlier Thursday, the International Olympic Committee urged the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic games to make sure such situations do not happen again.

The IOC said it regrets that the political statements were made during the closing torch relay ceremony Saturday in Tibet's capital, Lhasa.

Anti-Chinese government riots that erupted in Lhasa in March sparked a harsh crackdown by Chinese troops.

The crackdown led to chaotic demonstrations at several stops on the international leg of the torch relay for the Beijing Olympics that begin in August.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.