By Michael Pavitt

IOC President Thomas Bach says the Olympic Movement stands side by side with France in solidarity ©IOCInternational Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has addressed a letter to President François Hollande and to the French people, to express his "shock and grief" regarding the Charlie Hebdo magazine headquarters attack in Paris.

Gunmen shot dead 12 people at the Paris office of French satirical magazine in the capital yesterday, with the editor and three leading cartoonists among those killed..

In the letter, President Bach denounced the attack stating that "such barbaric acts are an attack on the values of all civilised people from whatever country, religion or creed".

Bach shares a close relationship with the French President and met with Hollande in November 2013 to discuss a potential bid from Paris, for the 2024 Olympics, before another meeting late last year during the 15th Summit of French-speaking nations in Dakar.

Thomas Bach and François Hollande meeting in Paris to discuss a potential Parisian Olympic bid ©Présidence de la République/L BlevennecThomas Bach and François Hollande meeting in Paris to discuss a potential Parisian Olympic bid ©Présidence de la République/L Blevennec

"Let me assure you that the entire Olympic Movement, just as all right-thinking people, stand shoulder to shoulder with you and France today," the letter continued.

"This was a shocking, brutal attack not just on France but on the values for which we all stand, and the values on which the Olympic Movement is also built.

"Those guns were aimed not just at journalists but at freedom of speech and the values for which France stands so strongly.

"These terrorist atrocities will only serve to unite the people of France to stand together against such mindless violence and we in the Olympic Movement stand side by side with you and with France in solidarity."

Bach's letter and support for France, in light of the attack, continues to highlight his belief that the IOC has a wider role to play in the political landscape and should use sport to help promote peace and wider development.

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