IOC suspends NOC of Guatemala with effect as from 15 October; issues a final warning to NOC of India

The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today decided to suspend the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Guatemala with effect as from 15 October, if certain criteria are not met before that date. The EB also issued a final warning to the NOC of India. As a consequence, it decided to postpone the IOC Session due to take place in Mumbai in May 2023 until September or October 2023.

IOC Executive Board September 2022 IOC/Greg Martin

Suspension of the NOC of Guatemala

The EB received a full update on the situation of the NOC of Guatemala. It was reminded that, further to the NOC elections that successfully took place in March 2022 in accordance with the IOC-approved NOC Statutes and the Olympic Charter, the Constitutional Court of Guatemala decided, in August 2022, to provisionally suspend a number of provisions of the NOC’s Statutes and Regulations, relating in particular to the NOC election process, for unclear reasons, despite the warnings sent by the IOC reiterating that the NOC must be able to operate in accordance with its Statutes and the Olympic Charter. The Court’s decision was immediately challenged by the NOC.

In light of these elements, and in order to protect the interests of the athletes of Guatemala, the IOC EB therefore decided to suspend the NOC of Guatemala with effect as from 15 October 2022. The suspension of the NOC will automatically come into effect on this date if no solution is found with the relevant authorities to:

  • lift the provisional suspension of a number of provisions of the NOC’s Statutes and Regulations; and
  • take appropriate action in the sports law to make sure that the NOC may freely conduct its elections in accordance with its own Statutes and the Olympic Charter.

    It is expected that the NOC of Guatemala and the relevant national authorities will meet shortly and propose a constructive solution, which will be submitted to the IOC by no later than 25 September 2022. Should an acceptable solution be found before 15 October 2022, a report will be made to the IOC EB with a view to lifting this decision.

NOC of India receives final warning

The EB received a report on the situation of the NOC of India highlighting the recurrent internal disputes and governance issues within the NOC, which have caused delays in the holding of the NOC quadrennial elections that should have taken place in December 2021 and have affected the ongoing development of sport in the country. It was noted that the NOC had already been suspended by the IOC for similar reasons between 2012 and 2014.

In view of the ongoing internal disputes, governance shortcomings and continuing court cases, the EB decided to issue a final warning and consider the immediate suspension of the NOC of India at the next EB meeting in December 2022 if, by then, the NOC of India is not able to:

  • address and resolve its governance issues to the IOC’s satisfaction, in the interests of sport and the athletes; and
  • operate properly through its governing bodies, i.e. the Executive Committee and General Assembly, and fulfil its obligations, in particular by holding its quadrennial elections in accordance with the Olympic Charter.

In order to agree on a constructive solution and establish a roadmap leading to NOC elections, the IOC will organise a joint meeting with all parties concerned later this month in Lausanne.

In view of the uncertain situation, the IOC Session due to take place in Mumbai in May 2023, has been postponed until September/October 2023. Depending on the decisions taken during its next meeting in December 2022 relating to the NOC of India, the IOC EB will decide as to whether the IOC Session in 2023 should be maintained in India or be relocated.

The IOC EB reserves the right to take any further action at any stage of the process depending on how the situation develops.

Any suspension of an NOC means, in particular, that:

  • the athletes of the country are no longer be able to represent their country and compete under the country’s flag/name at the Olympic Games and other international sports events, as the case may be; and
  • the NOC is no longer entitled to operate as an NOC according to its role as defined in the Olympic Charter. In addition, it will no longer receive any funding from the Olympic Movement until the suspension is lifted.
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