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Iraqi athletes file lawsuit against IOC

Jaza’ir al-Sahlani, the spokesman for the country’s interim athletic committee, said that the group will take legal action against the IOC for damaging Iraq’s reputation and infringing on its sovereignty and independence.

The Iraqi government has nothing to do with the lawsuit, al-Sahlani said, adding that the IOC had refused to receive Iraqi officials who wanted to make their case. The IOC, however, denied the claims saying that Iraqi officials had been invited to meet its members in Switzerland to discuss possible solutions, but it had not received a positive response.

There have been complaints in Iraq’s sports community that the country’s Youth and Sports Ministry is dominated by Shiite Muslims, who are said to bear a grudge against some members of the dissolved Olympic committee.