Thursday, July 24, 2008
Athletes from Iraq have been banned from taking part at this summer’s Beijing Games, the International Olympic Committee has announced.
The team was already the subject of an interim ban after the Iraqi government replaced the country’s Olympic committee with its own appointees.
Under the IOC charter, all committees must be free of political influence.
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As a result the team of two rowers, two sprinters, one archer, one weightlifter and one judo competitor cannot attend.
“The deadline for taking up places for Beijing for all sports except athletics has now passed,” said IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies.
“The IOC very sadly has now to acknowledge that it is likely there will be no Iraqi presence at the Beijing Olympic Games, despite our best efforts.”
She added: “Clearly, we’d very much like to have seen Iraq’s athletes in Beijing.
“We are very disappointed that the athletes have been so ill-served by their own government’s actions.”
This article was posted: Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 10:23 am