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Wednesday, August 30, 2000
Spain invites barred Cubans as guests to Sydney Games

 MADRID (AP) -- The Spanish Olympic Committee has invited long-jumper Niurka Montalvo and waterpolo player Ivan Perez as special guests to the Olympic Games in Sydney given that Cuba has barred them from competing for Spain.

 The committee said Wednesday that it had decided to include the two in the Spanish delegation as they cannot take part in the Games for "nonsporting reasons," the national news agency Efe reported.

 Cuba this month announced it would not allow Montalvo or Perez to participate for Spain, arguing that they can only represent their native country.

 Spain appealed unsuccessfully to both the Cuban government and the International Olympic Committee to let the athletes, both Spanish nationals, take part.

 Under the Olympic Charter, any athlete who has competed in any Olympics and changes his or her nationality must wait three years or get permission before competing for their new country.

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