LONDON (AP) - Lithuanian basketball officials have been warned to control racist behavior by the country's fans at the Olympics.
A Lithuania fan made Nazi gestures and monkey chants during a game against Nigeria on Tuesday. He pleaded guilty to a charge of "racially aggravated behavior" and was fined $3,910 by a London court. A lawyer for the fan said Wednesday his client believed such behavior was acceptable at sports events at home.
International Basketball Federation secretary general Patrick Baumann insisted that racist behavior will not be tolerated. FIBA told Lithuania officials to advise its fans to "behave properly," he added.
"We are absolutely against any of this and we have indicated to the Lithuanian delegation that it would be better for them if they were to communicate with their fans," he said.
Lithuania, which took the bronze medal at the 2010 world championship won by the U.S., plays the Americans on Saturday. It could be punished in other competitions if its fans make further racist displays in London.
"If it happens it is going to have other consequences beyond the London Games," Baumann said. "This is about respecting their opponents, it is about respecting the games, the Olympic values, and it is a celebration of friendship between people from all over the world."
Olympic organizers said racist fans are being ejected from venues.
"If we see any, these people will be asked to leave, and that is what we have been doing," organizing committee spokeswoman Jackie Brock-Doyle said.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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