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REPORT: Jackie Chamoun may be banned from future Olympic Games pending the results of investigations into nude photos

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Caretaker Youth and Sports Minister Faisal Karami telephoned on Tuesday the Lebanese Olympic Committee president Jean Hammam, and asked him to launch an investigation into the case of Lebanese Alpine Skier Jackie Chamoun.

This comes after media reports and social media websites posted a video and photos depicting Jackie (who’s currently competing at the Olympics in Sochi) posing topless.

Minister Karami also called for taking all the necessary procedures in order to protect Lebanon's reputation.

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The Lebanese Olympic Committee said after an extraordinary session held today (Tuesday) that the photos of Jackie Chamoun do not fairly depict the real image of Lebanese athletes, calling on concerned authorities to take the appropriate measures.

It also called on the Lebanese Ski Federation to investigate the incident and report the results to the Lebanese Olympic Committee at the soonest time possible, on which the decision to ban Jackie from future games will be based.

According to the laws of the Olympic Games, competing athletes cannot be suspended especially if a violation did not occur during the preparations for the games or whilst participating in them.

In this regard, the Lebanese Olympic Committee decided to hold on to Chamoun’s participation at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, noting that a decision to ban her from participating in other Olympic Games may be taken pending the results of the investigations. 

Jackie Chamoun, 22, is one of two athletes representing Lebanon at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Three years ago, she and fellow Lebanese Olympic skier Chirine Njeim, 29, posed for the annual Ski Instructors calendar at the Faraya ski resort.

The 2014 calendar has been out since November; but local media have been fiercely criticizing the young athlete, describing the photo shoot as scandalous.

Chamoun made her first public acknowledgment of the controversy on Tuesday, and apologized for offending her conservative supporters.

“I just want to make it clear to everyone who commented, shared the photos that appeared on the net in Lebanon yesterday. Yes I did photos for an Austrian ski calendar with other professional athletes 3 years ago,” Chamoun said on her Facebook page.

Chamoun added in the public message on her official page that the video and photos are part of the making off, and were not supposed to go public.

“Anyways, I want to apologize to all of you, I know that Lebanon is a conservative country and this is not the image that reflects our culture. I fully understand if you want to criticize this.”

In her message, Chamoun asked Lebanese citizens to stop sharing the images so that she may focus on her trainings and race.

In an interview that appeared on NBC online on the 30th of January, Chamoun seemed prepared to receive some criticism for the shoot; however, did not show any regret.

“People can sometimes see these pictures directly when surfing the web, and this is not the best image you can give someone about yourself, but, I don’t really care,” She said.

“I really enjoyed it and I don’t regret it. I like these photos,” Chamoun added.

This as a wave of solidarity overtook social media platforms in support of the young Lebanese athlete.


To watch Maytham Kassir's report, please click on the VIDEO above


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