Thursday, July 24, 2008

I thought the Olympics games weren't political

The BBC recently reported that Iraqi athletes will not be allowed to compete in the Beijing Olympic Games. Check this out:

"Athletes from Iraq have been banned from taking part at this summer's Beijing Games, the International Olympic Committee has announced.
The team was already the subject of an interim ban after the Iraqi government replaced the country's Olympic committee with its own appointees.

Under the IOC charter, all committees must be free of political influence.

As a result the team of two rowers, two sprinters, one archer, one weightlifter and one judo competitor cannot attend.

"The deadline for taking up places for Beijing for all sports except athletics has now passed," said IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies.

"The IOC very sadly has now to acknowledge that it is likely there will be no Iraqi presence at the Beijing Olympic Games, despite our best efforts."

She added: "Clearly, we'd very much like to have seen Iraq's athletes in Beijing.
"We are very disappointed that the athletes have been so ill-served by their own government's actions."

Hussein al-Amidi, the general secretary of the Iraqi Olympic Committee, said: "This morning we were informed of the final decision of the International Olympic Committee to suspend the membership of the Iraqi Olympic Committee.

"It's a final decision, there is no way to appeal. This means that Iraq will not take part in the coming Olympic games.

"It is a blow to Iraq and its international reputation, its athletes and its youth.
"I swear those athletes who have been training - they phoned me today and they were crying and were very upset."

BBC Radio 5 Live sports news correspondent Gordon Farquhar added: "The four Iraqi athletes that qualified could have competed under the Olympic flag but the deadline for confirmation of places has passed."

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

Its chairman, Ahmad al-Samarra'i, and several other members were abducted by gunmen while attending a meeting in central Baghdad in July 2006.
They have not been seen since.

The Iraqi government said it took the move because the committee was corrupt and had not been functioning properly."

This does not seem right to me at all. The fact that the committee made the decision this late in the game is ridiculous, and now they have no chance to compete...whether for Iraq or individually. The funny thing is during this whole year leading up to this year’s Olympics, head members of the Olympic committee have been preaching how this event is not a political one. (This was due to the international scrutiny over China's human rights violations). So if this is not political, I guess I'm still having a hard time figuring out why the Iraqi athletes will not be allowed to compete.


Cinders said...


Justine said...

A few things...

1. I adore the BBC

2. Thanks for your updates and comments on issues that I otherwise would not have had as firm of a grasp on attempting to understand.

3. What is not political , "these days" or... ever really, especially when it comes to anything dealing with the "Middle East"

4. Perhaps it has something to do with the soil being degredated...