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IOC: No Iraq team will go to Beijing in dispute over gov't interference

Iraq will not compete at the Beijing Games because of interference by its government in sport, the International Olympic Committee said Thursday. The IOC suspended Iraq's national Olympic committee in June after the Baghdad-based government dismissed elected officials and installed its own people who are not recognized by the IOC. The IOC Charter forbids political interference in the Olympic movement. Iraq missed a Wednesday deadline to submit a team for the Aug. 8-24 Beijing Games because of a stalemate between the two sides. Four Iraqi athletes were expected to compete, in archery, judo, rowing and weightlifting. The IOC said the Iraqi government did not accept an invitation to come to its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, to try to end the dispute.