Suspension of the Kuwait Olympic Committee

The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today suspended the Kuwait Olympic Committee (KOC) to protect the Olympic Movement in Kuwait from undue government interference.

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The Olympic Movement in Kuwait has faced a number of issues to preserve its autonomy, in particular due to recently amended sports legislation in Kuwait. The IOC, in close collaboration with ASOIF, ANOC, the OCA and the International Federations concerned, has done everything possible to resolve the situation amicably and in the interest of the Olympic Movement in Kuwait.

Upon the initiative of the IOC, a meeting took place on 12 October 2015 in Lausanne with representatives of the IOC (including ASOIF, ANOC and the OCA), the Government of Kuwait and the Kuwait Olympic Committee. Following this meeting, a deadline of 27 October 2015 was set to resolve the issues at hand or, at least, freeze the application of the conflictive provisions of the sports legislation until a reasonable and mutually acceptable solution could be found.

Unfortunately, the deadline expired today with no action having been taken by the Government of Kuwait.

As clearly mentioned in previous IOC letters to the Government of Kuwait, the case has been reported to the IOC EB, which took the following decision on the basis of Rules 27.9 and 59.1.4 (a) of the Olympic Charter:

1. To suspend the KOC in order to protect the Olympic Movement in Kuwait from undue government interference, with the following consequences:

a. The KOC is not entitled to participate in any activity connected with the Olympic Movement or exercise any right conferred upon it by the Olympic Charter or the IOC. This includes, in particular, any activity organised by associations of NOCs to which the KOC is affiliated.

b. The IOC EB reserves the right to take further measures and to determine actions in due time with regard to the participation of Kuwaiti athletes in the Olympic Games and in any other international Olympic-related events, in close coordination with the sports organisations concerned and in particular the International Federations.

c. The IOC and Olympic Solidarity will withhold all financial assistance from the KOC.

2. This decision is effective as from 27 October 2015.

The IOC hopes that all concerned parties will soon reach a satisfactory solution to rectify this very unfortunate situation in the interest of the Olympic Movement in Kuwait and the athletes’ participation in the numerous international sporting events coming up, in particular the Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016.

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