LONDON – An official involved in the Olympic movement says Britain has refused to grant a visa to Syrian Olympic Committee chief Gen. Mowaffak Joumaa to attend the London Games.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the decision publicly, confirmed Joumaa had been barred over his links to President Bashar Assad's regime.
Britain's Home Office, which decides on visa applications, declined to confirm details, insisting it would not comment on individual cases.
British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said last month Syrian delegation members with connections to the Assad regime would be banned.
About 10 athletes are attending the Olympics from Syria, where a 15-month-old uprising and government crackdown have killed thousands.
The rejection of Joumaa's visa was first reported by the BBC.