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IOC Will Not Allow Mao Asada to Compete in Turin Winter Olympics


International Olympic Committee vice president Chiharu Igaya has announced that the Olympic governing body will not alter age restrictions to make Japanese figure skater Mao Asada eligible for the Turin Winter Games.

Asada turned 15 in September, less than three months past the July 1 deadline set by the International Skating Union (ISU) for eligibility for the Winter Olympics. The ISU made the rule change in 1996 to help young skaters avoid injuries from overtraining for the Games while they are still growing.

Asada won the Grand Prix Final women's event on Saturday, upsetting two-time world champion Irina Slutskaya of Russia. Since then, Japanese fans have lobbied the Japan Skating Federation to push for changes to the rules.

International Skating Union president Ottavio Cinquanta said Saturday that Asada will not be granted a special exemption allowing her to compete.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.

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