IOC repeals suspension of Kuwait

International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board at its meeting on Friday decided to lift the nearly four-year suspension that had been imposed on the Kuwait Olympic Committee (KOC) due to alleged undue government interference.

The decision, made by postal vote, followed Kuwait’s successful implementation of a roadmap agreed between all parties. The statement form the IOC noted that Kuwait had worked diligently in successfully implementing the various steps in the roadmap.

The first step called for in the roadmap, which is the revision and adoption of new statutes for the sports clubs, followed by elections, was successfully completed by the end of January 2019, the set deadline for completion, the IOC press release stated.

The second step, involving revision and adoption of new statutes for the National Sports Federations, followed by elections was implemented in close coordination with the International Federations (IFs) concerned, and was successfully completed in early June 2019.

The third and last step of revision and adoption of the KOC statutes, followed by KOC elections was successfully completed on 30 June 2019, with the holding of the KOC General Assembly elections.

The KOC was suspended by decision of the Executive Board of the IOC on 27 October 2015, to protect the Olympic Movement in Kuwait from undue government interference, after a sports law that was not compatible with the basic principles that govern the Olympic Movement was passed in the country.

On 16 August 2018, the IOC Executive Board decided to provisionally lift the suspension of the KOC, acknowledging the progress made, which included the revision of the sports law and an agreement to establish a process for elections of all sports organizations in Kuwait.

Following this decision, which enabled the athletes to compete in the Asian Games in Jakarta/Palembang and the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 under their country’s flag, a roadmap was established under the supervision of a Supervisory Committee, appointed by the IOC President, Thomas Bach. Yesterday’s decision comes following the recommendation of the Supervisory Committee to fully lift the suspension of the KOC with immediate effect.