Friday, July 25, 2008

Iraqi Olympians Banned From Games -- Wait, China Is The Host And Iraq Is Banned?

A few months ago, it seemed liked nothing could stop Iraqi sprinter Dana Hussain from representing her country in the upcoming Summer Olympics.

Then, the International Olympic Committee banned Iraq from competing because of what it says is the government's political interference in sports.

Hussain cried for hours after hearing the news, which arrived in the form of a letter to Iraqi officials.

"She hasn't stopped. It's like finding out that a close relative has died," said her coach, Yousif Abdul Rahman. Abdul Rahman attempted to console Hussain by assuring her that she could compete in the 2012 Olympics.

The Iraq government dissolved the National Olympic Committee in May and the interim IOC ban was put in place on 4 June.

Davies added that the Iraqi government had been asked to travel to Switzerland to meet the IOC to discuss possible remedies but failed to do so.

The committee which the government dismissed was elected in 2004, in line with the Olympic movement's regulations.

The Iraqi government said it took the decision to appoint a new committee because the previous one was corrupt and had not been functioning properly.
BBC News


Pablo said...

No politics in the Olympics?? What a joke. The Olympics have been political from day one and if I were in charge of the U.S. Olympic team, I would refuse to participate in an outlaw nation such as China. But, the world being what it is, will kowtow to the IOC no matter what political decisions are made. Who will be the next to be banned by the "apolitical" IOC?

LifeTrek said...

Very good points Pablo! The Olympics have had political involvement since the modern Olympics began.

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