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Finland Offers Apology 75 Years Later

Helsinki officials say depriving Jewish runner of winning 1938 race was 'shocking and against the basic principles of sports'

By: Graham Sigurdson
Published: September 20th, 2013 in News » World
Shot of the finish line at Helsinki Olympic Stadium in 1938

In 1938, Abraham Tokazier, representing the Makkabi sports club, ran the 100 meter dash at the 1938 Finnish National competition.

Despite a photo in the newspaper the next day clearly showing Tokazier finishing first, he was announced as the fourth place finisher. This week, seventy-five years after the race, the Finnish Athletics Federation has issued an apology for listing Tokazier as fourth, stripping him of the victory he had clearly won.

In a statement, Finnish Athletics said that the falsifying and/or manipulation of results was "shocking and against the basic principles of sports." The federations chairman, Vesa Harmaakorpi stated "I present our humblest apologies over this issue to all those and their nearest ones who have suffered wrongdoing."

Unfortunately, as noted by spokesman Eero Ramo, international rules do not allow for the results to be adjusted after the fact, leaving Tokazier as the winner in all but the statistics.

The apology comes after repeated yearly efforts from Jewish groups to have Tokazier’s win be properly attributed to him.

Guess it's never too late for an apology, right?

Related articles: Israel News, Jewish News, Finland, Helsinki, Makkabi Sports Club, Abraham Tokazier
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