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Race director previously expressed hope that race would be treated “as a sports event”

The Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement has targeted the Giro d’Italia, accusing the race’s Israel start of being an attempt at “sport-washing”.

In November, more than 120 organisations issued an appeal to Giro organisers RCS Sport not to hold the start of the race in Israel because of what they see as the country’s “grave and escalating violations of international law and Palestinians’ human rights.”

BDS is now running a #ShameOnGiro campaign.

The relevant page on its website states: “Israel’s multi-million dollar bribe was enough to enlist Giro in its propaganda campaign. As a result, Giro is whitewashing, or sport-washing, Israel’s ongoing war crimes.”

The movement is asking people to “spoil the party and give Giro a reality check” and provides images and videos that can be shared via social media.

Speaking to the Associated Press in November, RCS race director Mauro Vegni said: “The reality is that we want it to be a sports event and stay away from any political discussion.

He added: “I hope that it is treated as a sports event. And I hope it’s treated as a sports event by the Palestinians also.”

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