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Olympics' Executive: Arnold Schwarzenegger Deserved to Run In the Torch

February 11, 2010, 4:09 am GMT

Chief executive of Winter Olympics defends Arnold Schwarzenegger following critics of his part in the event since the former actor was known for using steroids during his bodybuilding career.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Organizers of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Canada have defended their decision to allow Arnold Schwarzenegger to run in the torch relay - even through the actor/politician used steroids during his bodybuilding career. The former movie star will take part in the ceremonial carrying of the Olympic flame ahead of the games' opening ceremony in Vancouver on Friday, February 12.

But the decision to include Schwarzenegger has infuriated some critics, who are unhappy with the star's past admission to using drugs while he was a bodybuilding champion - a practice which is banned in the Olympics. But John Furlong, chief executive of Olympics organizing committee, is adamant Schwarzenegger deserves his place in the event.

Furlong says, "He has taken an extraordinary position on the environment and has developed a great relationship with the province of British Columbia. He is a powerful spokesman and is very popular here. He has been here many times and he helps focus attention on what we are doing."

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