Liu song/Imaginechina
By SI Wire
August 15, 2014

Three African athletes have been denied participation in the Youth Olympics in China due to the potential risk of Ebola infection.

People from the four nations -- Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria -- hit hardest by the deadly disease will undergo "regular temperature and physical assessment."

The International Olympic Committee and Nanjing Youth Olympic Games Organizing Committee worked with Chinese health authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO) to formulate health guidelines for the games.

Together we have developed a policy which balances the health needs of all, with respect for the rights of the young athletes from the region:

  • The organizing committee has made it clear that all delegations are welcome to the Games and each country is free to take their own decision on attendance.
  • Those from the region will be subject to regular temperature and physical assessment throughout the period.
  • Based on health authority guidelines it has been decided that athletes from affected areas will not compete in combat sports. (2 athletes)
  • Additionally, based on the inability to completely exclude the risk of potential infection it was also decided that no athletes from the region would compete in the pool.(1 athlete)
  • In accordance with WHO guidelines the Chinese authorities are fully prepared should any outbreak occur.   

The games will take place between August 16-28 in Nanjing.

The three athletes barred from competition will be invited to a future "sporting competition" in the Chinese city.

- Chris Johnson

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