'Difficult' for IOC to accept Jesse Owens medal auction

7:21 AM, Nov 13, 2013   |    comments
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'Jesse' (James Cleveland) Owens during Olympic Games in Berlin, August 1936, where he captured 4 gold medals, 100m, 200m, 4x100m and long jump. Grandson of a slave and legendary athlet, Jesse Owens established 6 world records in 1935 (CORR/AFP/Getty Images)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) - IOC President Thomas Bach says it is "difficult" to accept that a gold medal won by Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Olympics will go on auction and possibly be bought by a private collector.

Bach says the medal, one of four golds that Owens won at the Berlin Games, is "a part of world heritage."

The International Olympic Committee will not intervene in the sale. SCP Auctions says the medal could go for more than $1 million.

According to the auction house, Owens gave the medal to his friend, movie star Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, and it is being sold by the estate of Robinson's late widow.

Bach says "to put this up for an auction is for me a very difficult decision (to accept)."

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