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Ebola: Three athletes banned from Youth Olympics

updated 7:47 AM EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
The Youth Olympic Games are taking place in China between August 16 and 28.
The Youth Olympic Games are taking place in China between August 16 and 28.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Youth Olympic Games are taking place in Nanjing, China
  • Thousans of athletes are attending the Games, which start Saturday
  • International Olympic Committee takes action over Ebola threat
  • Three athletes banned over virus concerns

(CNN) -- The Ebola crisis caused by the deadly virus sweeping through West Africa has forced the International Olympic Committee to ban three athletes from the region competing at the Youth Games in Nanjing, China.

The IOC says those from arriving in China from the affected areas will not be allowed to compete in combat sports or swimming, over concerns the virus could be transmitted during events.

According to the World Health Organization, 1,069 people have died from Ebola with the majority of the deaths occurring in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

"We regret that due to this issue some young athletes may have suffered twice, both from the anguish caused by the outbreak in their home countries and by not being able to compete in the Youth Olympic Games," read the IOC statement made in partnership with the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games Organizing Committee.

"The IOC and Organizing Committee will therefore offer to each of the National Olympic Committees affected, if they wish, that their national flag will be brought into the stadium at the opening ceremony and will be hoisted at the venues.

Teams banned from Nanjing Youth Olympics
Ebola patient's son speaks out

"The athletes who have not been able to participate will also receive in the near future an invitation from the IOC and the organizing committee to come to Nanjing to take part in a sporting competition and to experience the welcoming atmosphere and spirit of the city and Jiangsu province."

The IOC has also confirmed that other athletes from West Africa competing in events away from the swimming and combat sports will be subjected to regular physical examinations and temperature checks.

The games, which take place between August 16 and 28 were first held in 2010 and will attract about 3,800 athletes from 204 countries and regions this year.

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