Bhutia refuses to carry torch

NEW DELHI (AP) Bhaichung Bhutia, India’s soccer captain, has refused to carry the Beijing Olympics torch during its run through the Indian capital later this month in protest over China’s crackdown on recent protests in Tibet, a sports official said Tuesday. The Indian Olympic Association, which is organizing the flame’s run in New Delhi on April 17, has invited several top Indian athletes, including Bhutia. Bhutia, among the first athletes to refuse to run with the torch, faxed his decision to the IOA on Monday, said an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters. “This is my way of standing by the people of Tibet and their struggle. I abhor violence in any form,” The Times Of India quoted Bhutia as saying.