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IOC warns baseball confederation after Israeli snub

(Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has issued a formal warning to the World Baseball Softball Confederation after the Israeli flag and name plate were removed during the confederation's congress in Tunisia last May.

The confederation, formed in an attempt to win inclusion for the two sports at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, was warned on Tuesday there must be no similar action in future.

The IOC said, however, that it was satisfied a six-month suspension of the Tunisian Baseball Softball Federation and other measures taken by the WBSC had been "appropriate and reasonable".

An IOC task force investigated the incident in which the head of the Israeli Baseball Association, Peter Kurz, was told by organizers of the congress in Hammamet that he could not display the Israeli flag or name plate.

The IOC said on its website (www.olympic.org) that it was of "critical importance" to maintain respect for all members of the Olympic movement and uphold Olympic values at all times.

"The IOC executive board decided to issue a warning to the WBSC...to ensure that a similar situation is not repeated in the future," it said.

The WBSC is seeking to persuade the IOC to return the sports to the Olympics for the first time since 2008.

The IOC Congress put wrestling ahead of baseball at a vote last year but the WBSC is hoping there will be a change of mind in time for the IOC's extraordinary congress in December.

(Reporting by Neville Dalton, Editing by Alan Baldwin)

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