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Olympic Athletes Asked Not to Protest at Olympic Venues

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said Saturday athletes taking part in the Beijing Olympics will be free to criticize China, but asked them to do it away from Olympic venues.

Rogge said athletes are free to express their opinions but he urged them to avoid what he termed "propaganda" in stadiums, the Olympic village and other official sites.

He says there are athletes from 205 countries taking part in the Games and many come from countries engaged in religious or military conflicts.

Rogge warned that using the neutral Olympic venues for political demonstrations could threaten what he called the "harmony" of the Games.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.