30 Jul 2008

Two Iraqi athletes to compete in Beijing

10:20 am on 30 July 2008

Two Iraqi athletes will compete at the Beijing Olympics after a delegation met International Olympic Committee officials in Switzerland.

The delegation was seeking to reverse a decision by the IOC to suspend Iraq because of government interference in the National Olympic Committee.

An IOC statement says a "transparent and fair election" of a new, independent Iraqi National Olympic Committee must be held, no later than the end of November.

Iraq initially planned to send at least seven athletes: two rowers, a weightlifter, a sprinter, a discus thrower, a judoka and an archer.

While two have been cleared to compete, the other five lost their chance after missing last week's selection deadline.