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IOC Allows Iraq to Participate in Olympics


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has rescinded its suspension of Iraq, allowing the Middle Eastern nation to compete at the Beijing Games.

IOC officials said Tuesday that they are lifting Iraq's ban because the government has pledged to ensure the independence of its national Olympic committee. The decision follows last-minute talks between Iraqi officials and the IOC in Lausanne, Switzerland. A deadline to submit competitors' names for athletics events expires on Wednesday.

Iraq is expected to send two athletes to Beijing. Five others lost their chance to go when the final date to select competitors for archery, judo, rowing and weightlifting passed last week.

Iraq has won only one bronze medal since its first appearance at the Summer Olympics in 1948.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.