Former Russian figure skater Irina Rodnina has apologised for tweeting a racist photograph of President Obama and First Lady Michelle - blaming hackers.
Attention was drawn to the image due to Rodnina's high profile role at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony, in which she lit the Olympic cauldron.
Today Rodnina, who is now a Russian politician, tweeted that she respected the Obama family and did not support racism, adding that her account had been hacked:
I respect the Obama family and apologize for not clearly stating earlier that I don't support the tweeted photo or racism in any form. (1/2)
My account was hacked and I should have shown better judgement in my initial response and handling of the event. (2/2)
A lot is riding on the success of the Sochi Olympics, and the Opening Ceremony showed how serious the games are to Putin.
The Sochi Games kicked off with a shaky start, as one of the five Olympic-Games ring structures failed to open.