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IOC Will Allow Iraq Back In The Olympics

From a dismayed Associated Press:

IOC gives Iraq OK to take part in Beijing Games

The reversal comes after Baghdad pledges to ensure the independence of its national Olympics panel.

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND — The International Olympic Committee agreed Tuesday to allow Iraq to participate in the Beijing Games, reversing itself after Baghdad pledged to ensure the independence of its national Olympics panel.

The decision followed last-minute talks between Iraqi officials and the IOC before today’s deadline to submit competitors’ names for track and field events. The Olympics begin Aug. 8.

Iraq is expected to send two athletes to Beijing to compete in track and field. The decision came too late for five other hopefuls in archery, judo, rowing and weightlifting. The deadline to submit names for those sports was last week.

Iraq’s National Olympic Committee was dissolved by the Baghdad government in May, prompting the IOC to suspend the country from the Games for political interference.

The IOC had insisted that the old committee be reinstated, even though four members were kidnapped two years ago. Their fates remain unknown.

The agreement worked out Tuesday calls for Iraq to hold free elections for its National Olympic Committee under international observation.

“The National Olympic Committee will have fair elections before the end of November,” said Pere Miro, head of the IOC’s department for relations with national Olympic committees…

The IOC was forcing Iraq to have members on their Olympic committee who have not been seen for two years?

And how many other countries are being made to have “free elections” for their Olympic Committees under international observation?

Is that how it’s being done in Cuba? China?

What makes Iraq so different?

(Thanks to BillK for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, July 30th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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