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Pakistan close to an Olympic ban, says IOC

By Karolos Grohmann

LAUSANNE (Reuters) - Pakistan could soon join neighbors India as Olympic outcasts with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday considering suspending the country over what it said was government interference.

"We might soon consider a suspension as a protective measure," IOC spokesman Mark Adams told reporters.

He said the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) and the country's government had been invited to the IOC's headquarters later this week to discuss a domestic dispute over the sports body's independence.

"The government of Pakistan has ignored the invitation," Adams said.

Pakistan Olympic officials claim the government has been interfering with the administration of the POA in a dispute that has been simmering for months.

The IOC banned India in December over government interference in elections of the Indian Olympic Association.

An Olympic ban means an effective end to funding from the IOC to the national Olympic association. No officials of that association can attend Olympic meetings and athletes of a banned nation cannot compete at the Games under their country's flag.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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