204 Nations for London with Return of Kuwait
Jacques Rogge with Minister of Communications and Acting Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Salem Al-Otheina.
(ATR) The Kuwait Times reports that two days of talks between the IOC President and the Kuwait Minister of Communications has resulted in an accord that would lift the four-year suspension of the NOC.
IOC Communications Director Mark Adams confirms the breakthrough to Around the Rings saying that Kuwaiti athletes will be able to march under their nation’s flag and hear their national anthem played should a gold medal be won.
Adams says the lifting of the suspension has the approval of the IOC Executive Board.
The NOC was suspended prior to the 2008 Olympics over a Kuwaiti law that allowed the government to intervene in the selection of sports
federation leaders. The Olympic Charter bans such breaches of autonomy which have led to suspensions of other NOCs in the past.
It is not clear what has happened in Kuwait to dismantle the offending law.A letter to the IOC from the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah is reported to have set the stage for the repeal of the suspension.
With the suspension lifted, all 204 of the world’s NOCs are eligible to compete in London, a number equal to Beijing.
Had the ban remained in place, the eight Kuwaitis who have qualified for London would have competed under the flag of the IOC.
Written and reported in London by Ed Hula.
For general comments or questions, click here.
Your best source of news about the Olympics is www.aroundtherings.com, for subscribers only.
(Copyright 1992 - 2013, all rights reserved. The information in this report may not be published, excerpted, or otherwise distributed in print or broadcast without the express prior consent of Around the Rings.)