Iraq banned from Olympics

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

July 24, 2008

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -- The International Olympic Committee says Iraq will not compete at Beijing because of Iraqi government interference. The IOC suspended Iraq's national Olympic committee in June after Baghdad dismissed elected officials and installed its own people who are not recognized by the IOC.

The IOC Charter forbids political interference in the Olympic movement. Iraq missed a Wednesday deadline to submit a team for the Aug. 8-24 Beijing Games because of a stalemate between the two sides. Four Iraqi athletes were expected to compete in archery, judo, rowing and weightlifting.

The IOC says the Iraqi government did not accept an invitation to come to its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, to try to end the dispute.

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