IOC chief Jacques Rogge
Syria could send eight athletes to the 2012 Olympics, but IOC chief Jacques Rogge, pictured in 2011, has warned that if those competitors are implicated in war crimes, they will be banned from entering London. © Fabrice Coffrini - AFP/File
IOC chief Jacques Rogge
AFP
Last updated: March 14, 2012

Syrian athletes on war crimes watch

Syria could send eight athletes to the 2012 Olympics, but IOC chief Jacques Rogge has warned that if those competitors are implicated in war crimes, they will be banned from entering London.

Rogge said that between six and eight Syrians "have the potential" to qualify for the Games.

But he added that the International Olympic Committee was "working with the United Nations", verifying lists of those inside Syria who are wanted for war crimes.

"If an athlete is found on one of these lists, he will not enter the United Kingdom," Rogge told a press conference after the IOC executive committee meeting.

Despite the ongoing unrest, the Syrian National Olympic Committee has not been punished by the IOC.

But if Syrians take part in the London Olympics, it is probable they will march under the Olympic flag rather than their country's flag.

Syria also have a slim chance of making the football tournament after their national side made the Asian zone play-offs on Wednesday with a 3-0 win over Malaysia.

Oman, Uzbekistan and Syria will contest the play-offs in Vietnam from March 25-29, with the winner facing Senegal in the English city of Coventry on April 23.

The winner of that match will qualify for the Olympics.

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