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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

PostHeaderIcon IOC rebuffs Tibetan request for own team at Beijing Olympics

The International Olympic Committee has rejected an attempt by Tibet to field its own team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Delegates from the unofficial Tibetan National Olympic Committee met with Olympic officials today at the I-O-C headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Outside, more than 100 supporters, including some Buddhist monks, waved banners and Tibetan flags.

However, a spokesman for the Tibetan group, Wangpo Tethong, said later that the I-O-C was not in a position to accept its application.

Michel Filliau, a senior I-O-C official who took part in the meeting, said a rule change in 1996 means only national committees from countries recognized by the international community can take part in the Olympics.

A special exemption is granted only to those territories whose national committees were recognized before 1996, such as those for the Palestinian territories, Hong Kong and Taiwan. which competes as Chinese Taipei.

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