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IOC President says refugee team of 10 to compete at Olympics in Rio

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday in Lausanne, Switzerland said a 10-strong refugee team is to compete at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro later this year.

IOC President, Thomas Bach, said the team would compete in swimming, athletics and judo events at the Aug. 5 to Aug. 21 Games, tagged “a symbol of hope’’.

Bach said the participants were selected from 43 possible candidates, with five refugees from South Sudan, two from Syria, two from the Democratic Republic of Congo and one from Ethiopia.

“The refugees are homeless, no team, no flag, and no national anthem.

“We will offer them a home in the Olympic Village together with all the athletes of the world,” he said.

Bach said the first-ever refugee team would enter the opening ceremony in the Maracana Stadium before hosts Brazil and under the Olympic flag.

He pledged that, throughout the Games, they would be treated as any other team, and subjected to doping control, even though their expenses would be paid by the IOC.(dpa/NAN)

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