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New rules to prevent athletes from dodging army service

June 28, 2019 at 1:47pm
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Athletes will no longer be able to seek exemption or a delay to serving their military service claiming psychological problems, under a bill approved by the House of Representatives on Friday.

The bill, which amends the Cyprus Sports Organisation law, was approved by 25 votes in favour to 15 against.

It prohibits the Cyprus Sports Organisation from issuing health certificates to athletes of conscription age temporarily exempted from doing their military service on mental health grounds. Such certificates a prerequisite for professional athletes and others participating in tournaments.

The move aims to close another loophole in efforts to stem the number of young men trying to evade military service.

The Defence Ministry, which took the bill to parliament, said that it was one of a series of measures it was taking to eliminate draft evasion.

At the same time, the Defence Ministry said it was promoting facilities for conscripts in cooperation with the Cyprus Sports Organisation and the relevant sports federations so that not to to impede athletes’  progress and development.