North Korean gymnasts banned from London Olympics

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — North Korea won’t be allowed to send any gymnasts to the London Olympics, part of its two-year ban from international competition as punishment for age falsification.

The International Gymnastics Federation announced Friday it was effectively banning North Korea from any competition outside its borders until Oct. 5, 2012, after determining that Hong Su Jong had entered last month’s world championships using the third different birthdate of her career.

A provisional 30-day ban imposed on Oct. 7 prevented North Korea from competing at the world championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the first step in team qualification for the London Games. But North Korea still could have qualified individual gymnasts for London if the FIG had not imposed further punishment.

The North Koreans have 21 days to appeal.