Beijing regrets Iraq ban
Organisers in Beijing have expressed their disappointment at the IOC's ban on Iraq.
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2008 12:40 GMT

Iraq will not be appearing at the 2008 Olympics [GALLO/GETTY]
Beijing organisers have expressed regret that Iraqi athletes will not be able to take part in next month's Olympics after the suspension of the country's National Olympic Committee.

The Iraqi government disbanded the NOC in May because of a dispute over how it had been assembled.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) set a deadline for its reinstatement
but the government did not back down and the ban was confirmed on Thursday.

"The IOC has made its decision according to its regulations." Sun Weide, spokesman for the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG), said.

"It is an internal affair of the IOC. BOCOG regrets that the Iraqi athletes will not take part in the Beijing Games."

The IOC's Olympic Charter forbids political interference in the Olympic Movement and provides for the suspension of an NOC in the event "any governmental body .... causes the activity of the NOC .... to be hampered".

At least seven Iraqi athletes; two rowers, a weightlifter, sprinter, discus thrower, judoka and an archer had earned places in Beijing.

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