The Swiss athletics association has banned one of its sprinters, Pascal Mancini, from the European championships, accusing him of racism.
The 29-year old also faces disciplinary procedures and his licence was suspended indefinitely, Swiss Athleticsexternal link announced on Tuesday.
Mancini recently posted “controversial content with rightwing extremist ideas on his athlete Facebook site“, the statement said.
His posts go against an agreement between Swiss Athletics and Mancini and are in breach of a code of conduct, according to the press release.
Mancini’s, whose sympathies with rightwing politicians have been known for a while, defended his stance in a newspaper interview. He claimed the right to free speech and blamed the media for the row.
“I write what I think, and I know that some people criticise this. This is why I sometimes like to provoke them a bit. If I were a racist I’d say so openly,” he is quoted as saying.
In 2012, he failed a drug test and was banned from competition for two years.
Manciniexternal link was a member of the 4X100 metres relay Swiss team and was also due to compete in the 100-metre individual race of the European championshipsexternal link in the German capital, Berlin, from August 6-12.