By David Gold

north_korea_v_japan_16-09-11September 16 - FIFA has clarified that North Korea's women's football team can compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games despite not being able to qualify for the next World Cup as sanctions placed on the country after some of its players tested positive for banned substances are meant to apply only to that competition.

During the last women's World Cup in Germany this year, Pok Sim Jong, Myong Hui Hong, Un Byol Ho, Un Hyang Ri were suspended for 18 months and Jong Sun Song for 14 months when they failed drugs tests after taking a traditional musk deer gland therapy.

FIFA moved to ban the country from competing at the next World Cup in Canada in 2015 as a result, but North Korea claimed a spot at next year's Olympic Games in the final round of qualifiers last weekend.

They beat Thailand 5-0 in the crucial match to secure their place in London ahead of Australia and China, to finish second behind Japan in women's qualifying for the Olympic Games.

FIFA told insidethegames that "a sanctioned person [legal or natural person] shall serve whenever possible the sanction in the competition in which the infringement occurred.

"As the incident occurred during the FIFA Women's World Cup, North Korea is as such banned for the next FIFA Women's World Cup."

FIFA also say that it is similar to the principle whereby players in European domestic leagues sent off during games in those competitions willt then not be banned as a result from cup or European matches, as well as reiterating that the players found guilty are still banned from playing football.

As a result of the positive tests, North Korea's national team's doctor was also banned for six years and the national association given a hefty fine.

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