7 Aug 2008

American cyclists did not realise impact of mask

7:39 am on 7 August 2008

One of the four US cyclists who wore masks on arriving in Beijing says they had no idea that they would be seen as offensive and apologised to the Chinese people.

Track cyclist Bobby Lea says the riders sent a letter to Beijing Games organisers to make sure they realised the masks were not meant to be any kind of statement or protest.

He says the masks were to take care of a perceived health risk but it came across as offensive.