IOC provisionally suspends Iraqi Olympic Committee

The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided today to provisionally suspend the Iraqi National Olympic Committee (NOC) as a consequence of the on-going political interference by the government within the sports movement in Iraq. This culminated two weeks ago in the Iraqi Council of Ministers dismissing the NOC and its member federations and appointing an interim committee chaired by the Minister of Sport: a clear breach of the NOC’s autonomy.

Olympic flag

Consequently, on the basis of the provision of the Olympic Charter (Rule 28.9 in particular) and in order to protect the Olympic Movement in Iraq, the IOC Executive Board ruled as follows: 

  • The Iraqi National Olympic Committee is suspended on a provisional basis – with all the consequences provided by the Olympic Charter – as a protective measure due to the interferences from the Iraqi government authorities. 
  • The IOC does not recognize any ‘interim committee’ nor any other officers appointed by the Iraqi government authorities to supervise the NOCI or the Iraqi Olympic and sports movement and reiterates its full support to the office bearers of the NOCI and Olympic and sports movement who were legitimately elected.
  • The IOC – together with the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and the Iraqi NOC office bearers who were legitimately elected – will invite representatives of the Iraqi government  authorities in order to analyse the situation and find appropriate solutions for the Iraqi NOC and the Iraqi Olympic and sports movement as a whole, including the athletes, provided that the principles and rules laid down in the Olympic Charter will always be strictly observed, in particular the autonomy of the Iraqi NOC and the Olympic and sports movement.  

The IOC will continue to look for ways to help Iraqi athletes, although the situation created by the Iraqi government authorities makes the task very difficult. Over the last three years, the IOC and the wider Olympic Movement have taken a series of initiatives in favour of Iraqi sport. Through this collaboration, some 50 Iraqi athletes and coaches have been able to find adequate training opportunities within various NOCs for the Doha Asian Games in December 2006 and the Beijing Olympic Games.

For further information, please contact the IOC Communications Department, Tel: +41 21 621 60 00, email:

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