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Coach Says US Army Won't Let Iraqi National Team Train for Worlds -- June 24, 2003

BAGHDAD, Iraq, June 24. THE head coach of the Iraqi national swim team preparing to compete at the World Championships in Barcelona next month, recently protested that American military forces are preventing his team from training at the Baghdad Olympic pool.

The accusation was published in the Brazilian newspaper, O Globo.

The coach, who was not identified by name, said US troops have taken over Baghdad's main swimming training center and are using the pool for the amusement of the troops. "It's an abuse of power...we aren't allowed to train," said the Iraqi coach.

As a result, he said, the team is working out in the Tigris river.