Special report: 2008 Olympic Games
BEIJING, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Four Iraqi athletes will compete at next week's Olympic Games, up from two allowed to take part when the International Olympic Committee lifted a ban on the country's participation.
"A double-scull crew will compete under the Iraqi flag at the 2008 Beijing Games. This welcome news brings the Iraqi team up to four, including a female sprinter and a male discus-thrower," the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said late Thursday on its website.
The two Iraqi rowers places had originally been reallocated to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, who declined the offer and the places were therefore returned to Iraq, the IOC said.
Iraq's government dissolved the country's NOC in May, and the IOC gave Iraq a deadline to reinstate the body or face an Olympic ban, but the government did not back down.