The triple jumper tweeted: ‘With so many Africans in Greece, the West Nile mosquitoes will be getting home food!!!’
And despite several apologetic tweets she was dropped from the Greek athletics team, after the country’s Olympic Committee released a statement saying Papahristou had been “placed outside the Olympic team for statements contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement.”
The poster girl for Greek athletics had also expressed support for Greece’s extreme right party, Golden Dawn, going so far as to tweet a birthday message to Ilias Kasidiaris, the party’s spokesman who assaulted a female politician during a television debate and then tried to sue her.
An outcry following her original tweet elicited a flippant response from Papahristou: “That’s how I am. I laugh. I am not a CD to get stuck!!! And if I make mistakes, I don’t press the replay! I press Play and move on!!’ she said.
However a string of attritional tweets later followed:
“I would like to express my heartfelt apologies for the unfortunate and tasteless joke I published on my personal Twitter account. I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights.
“My dream is connected to the Olympic Games and I could not possibly participate if I did not respect their values. Therefore, I could never believe in discrimination between human beings and races. I would like to apologize to all my friends and fellow athletes, who I may have insulted or shamed, the National Team, as well as the people and companies who support my athletic career. Finally, I would like to apologize to my coach and my family.”
Papahristou had yet to travel to London for the Games.