Iraq banned from the Olympics

It is sad for me to report that Iraq has been banned from competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Olympic organizers and IOC often repeat the mantra that the Olympics is not about politics, but I think we all know that this is not the case.

The reason for the ban is that the “government seized control of the country’s Olympic committee”, reports Bloomberg.

“The Iraqi government dissolved all of the nation’s sports bodies and replaced the country’s Olympic committee with its own appointees.”

“We haven’t received a positive response from the government,” IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau said in a telephone interview today. “Because the (entry) deadline for most sports has now passed, we had to inform them we haven’t found a solution. The suspension remains. That means athletes will not be able to come to Beijing.”

Iraq had seven athletes: two rowers, two sprinters, one archer, one weightlifter and one competitor in judo.

I feel sorry for the athletes and the country. Seeing their own country’s athletes competing would give them some sense of hope for the future.

Posted by Mike 10 years ago

filed under: Iraq

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