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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 May, 2003, 18:04 GMT 19:04 UK
IOC set to help Iraqis
Saddam Hussein with his elder son Uday (right) in 2000
Uday (right) was the head of Iraqi olympic committee

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge has pledged to help rebuild sport in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.

"The IOC has a long tradition of helping nations which have been destroyed by war," he said. "And we will be providing financial help."

Iraq's Olympic body will be dissolved amid the reports that athletes were tortured during the rule of Saddam Hussein, Rogge said on Wednesday.

The IOC, which will endorse the decision in a meeting in Madrid next week, plans to create the new one with the help of Iraqi exiles.

We will check that nobody involved had anything to do with the wrongdoings
Jacques Rogge, IOC president

The investigation into mass torture of Iraqi sportsmen was launched last December.

Sharar Haydar, a former national team football player, claimed he was one of many athletes who were arrested and tortured on the orders of Uday, son of former Iraq president Saddam Hussein.

Uday was the president of the Iraq National Olympic Committee.

Rogge stressed that IOC strongly condemns "the actions that were taken (in Iraq). It is a moral judgement on actions that were absolutely unacceptable."

He underlined that anyone connected with the old regime would be banned from any involvement in the new Iraqi Olympic body.

"We will check that nobody involved had anything to do with the wrongdoings."

Rogge said Iraqi exiles have been invited to the IOC headquarters in Lausanne for discussions.

"We will talk to them about reconstructing Iraqi sport."

"The whole thing will be done at the level of exiles and at the level of people still in Iraq."

Iraq seek international return
28 Apr 03  |  Internationals

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