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.
Iraq had been planning to send a team of at least seven athletes to the Olympics which start on 8 August.
Two rowers, a weightlifter, a sprinter, a discus thrower, a judoka and an archer were in the frame for the trip to Beijing.
“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.”
- Were the original Iraqi Olympic committee more or less corrupt than the new ones?
- This country has been ravaged by years rule under a rabid dictator (since removed), has been in a state of war for years…can’t they catch a break? For heaven’s sake, it’s the Olympics!
- (Read the words in RED above, then consider this)- If the only sport left to qualify for is “athletics” and Iraq has “athletes” – that’s just puzzling, right?
- Go read the memoirs of ANY person who has ever spent time near the International Olympic Committee and/or it’s governing processes. IT’S ALL POLITICAL.
- Zeus and the gods of Mt Olympus have to be thinking “What happened to the spirit of competition?”
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