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Friday, July 25, 2008

Iraq Olympic official says talks started on ban

BAGHDAD (AP)—The spokesman for the banned Iraqi Olympic Committee says he still hopes that Iraq can take part in next month’s Beijing games.

Jazair al-Sahlani says that talks are under way Friday to restore Iraq’s Olympic status and he hopes a settlement could be reached early next week. The International Olympic Committee on Thursday upheld its ban on Iraq for political inference in Olympic affairs.

In June, the Iraqi government disbanded its Olympic Committee and replaced it with new members not recognized by the IOC. Iraq planned to send seven athletes to Beijing.

Al-Sahlani says that Germany and China are involved in the talks, but gave no other details.


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