Morocco Prevents its Athletes from Joining French Olympic Team
Morocco has refused to allow three of its athletes to join the French team for the September Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, reported PanAfrican News Agency (PANA).
Official sources said in Rabat Sunday that the Moroccan Olympic Committee rejected a request from its French counterpart to issue a letter authorizing Dris Maazouzi (1,500m), Smail Sghir (5,000m) and Roukaya Maraoui (10,000m) to run under the French flag during the forthcoming games, said PANA.
Maazouzi was in the French team for the 1999 world championship that was held in Seville, Spain.
He is the current 1,500m record holder in France with a time of 3mn 31sec 51, while Smail Sghir, who acquired French nationality on February 13th 2000, broke the French 5,000m record at the Oslo athletic competition with a time of 12mn, 58sec 38.
Article 46 of the Olympic Charter says that any athlete, whose newly acquired nationality is less than three years old, should obtain the consent of his/her country of origin before being allowed to participate in the Olympic games under the flag of the country in which he/she is nationalized, said the agency - Albawaba.com
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