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Syria's Olympic chief could be refused entry

Syria's Olympic chief could be prevented from entering the UK to attend the London 2012 Games.

General Mowaffak Joumaa, president of the Syrian Olympic committee could be refused entry, despite not being on the list of Syrian officials banned from travelling in Europe.

Joumaa is a close aide of President Assad.

The European Union imposed a travel ban on various members of the Syrian regime following the violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Olympics minister Hugh Robertson said:

The Syrian regime is now on the EU list but there is then a second level down, where anyone who applies for a visa for the Games who comes from a country where there might be questions raised goes in front of a committee where those cases are individually looked at.

Any that are contentious come to ministers to sign off and we have the power to refuse anybody a visa.

– Olympics minister Hugh Robertson

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