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Matildas' Games hopes dashed

30 November 2011-AAP

No Games ... Australia's Matildas won't play in the London Games (Getty)

The Matildas' hopes of a London Olympic reprieve appear dashed with Australia's calls to have Korea DPR banned from the tournament over a doping row falling on deaf ears.

Australia's women's team narrowly missed a 2012 Olympic berth, finishing third at the Asian qualifying tournament in September behind Japan and North Korea, who claimed the two Games spots.

But Matildas players and Olympic and football officials were not happy that North Korea was allowed to qualify after it was banned by FIFA from competing in the 2015 Women's World Cup following a doping scandal at the 2011 World Cup in Germany in June-July.

Five players tested positive to steroids and received bans of up to 18 months, while the team's doctor was banned for six years.

Football Federation Australia and the Australian Olympic Committee last month wrote to FIFA, the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Authority, claiming North Korea should also be banned from the Olympics, paving the way for the Matildas to take its place.

But neither has been able to make any headway and FIFA and WADA have said the ruling will not be overturned or challenged.

FIFA stood firm on its decision, saying rules meant the sanctions would be served "only in the competition in which the infringement occurred".

WADA has the power to appeal FIFA's decision but it has declined to do so despite the calls from Australian officials.

National teams chief John Boultbee said FFA would "keep looking for avenues but it's hard to see any."

Matildas players were left particularly frustrated by the fact no drug tests were taken at the Olympic qualifying tournament in China, in which they suffered a key 1-0 loss to North Korea in their opening game.

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