Rogge accepts 'moral responsibility'

Updated: February 26, 2010, 2:30 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

IOC president Jacques Rogge says the death of a Georgian luger will forever be associated with the Vancouver Games, just as the slaying of Israeli athletes remains a legacy of the Munich Olympics.

Nodar Kumaritashvili died during practice on the first day of the Games when he lost control of his sled and slammed into a trackside steel pole at nearly 90 mph. Olympic and luge federation officials blamed the accident on the athlete, saying he was late in coming out of the next-to-last turn and failed to compensate.

Rogge said the IOC accepted a "moral responsibility" for the tragedy but not legal responsibility.

"There will always be risk in sport, but it has to be reasonable and the athletes take a lot of risk themselves," he said.

He also expects Russian organizers to make sure the sliding track is safe for the 2014 Sochi Games.

"The IOC has been very clear in saying to the Russians: Please deliver us a track that will not be hazardous," Rogge said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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