Olympics: Barcelona '92: Un lifts ban for non-team events

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The Independent Online
THE International Olympic Committee will make a final decision today on whether to allow Yugoslav athletes to compete at the Barcelona Games, a senior IOC official said.

A United Nations committee charged with enforcing sanctions against Yugoslavia for its role in the Bosnian conflict decided yesterday to allow Yugoslav athletes to compete in the Games as individuals despite a sporting embargo.

But it said the athletes could not compete in team sports, effectively ruling out half of the Yugoslav contingent, including the water polo team which won gold in Seoul. It also barred them from the Games opening parade on Saturday and the closing ceremony.

Under an original IOC plan, the athletes were to compete under the Olympic flag in plain uniforms and be known as the Independent Team.

Gilbert Felli, the IOC sports director, said that if the UN decision was confirmed at today's meeting, four countries would automatically replace Yugoslavia in team events. They were Iceland in the men's handball, Norway in women's handball, Czechoslovakia in water polo and Italy in women's basketball.

The IOC president, Juan Antonio Samaranch, has decided to stand for another four-year term, according to IOC sources. He had been expected to retire next year after ruling as president for 12 years. 'He is determined to be known as the man who took the Olympic movement into the next century. His ego and his desire to fuel it has given him no choice but to remain as the head of the Olympic movement,' one source said.

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