The International Olympic Committee (IOC) defended a German official who has been accused of performing the 'Nazi salute' during the opening ceremony of the London Games.
Honorary IOC member Walther Troger was filmed extending his left arm back and forth repeatedly as the German team marched around London's Olympic stadium on July 27, The Telegraph reported.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams vehemently denied allegations that Troger’s hand motion was a Nazi salute.
"I can't think of anyone who is less anti-Semitic than him," he said adding that he is “devastated that it was interpreted in this way."
According to The Telegraph, in 1972, Troger, who was at that time serving as mayor of the Olympic Village during the Munich Games, offered to exchange himself for Israeli hostages during the Black September terrorist attack.
In 2004 he reportedly complained to the IOC about Germans wearing t-shirts reading: "Blitzkrieg - it's only a game."
"It's infamous, disgusting and unacceptable to create any kind of relation to Nazis. He's been standing all his life for tolerance, understanding and fair play," said Christian Kalue, a spokesman for the German Olympic Sports Federation.
German commentators on Twitter have also urged the public not to misinterpret Troger’s actions, noting that the Nazis saluted with their right hand while Troger used his left hand.