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  • IOC Suspends India, Welcomes Kuwait, Waits on Panama, Ecuador


    12/04/12

    (ATR) The IOC confirms that the Indian Olympic Association is suspended “due to its failure to comply with the Olympic Charter” as day one of the Executive Board comes to a close in Lausanne.
    IOC president Jacques Rogge prepares to call Tuesday's meeting to order. (ATR)

    The decision means the IOA is no longer entitled to any financial support until the suspension is lifted, and athletes will not be able to compete under the Indian flag at IOC events.

    “In particular, the Executive Board confirms that the IOA is not entitled to hold any elections until all pending issues are resolved,” adds a press release issued Tuesday.

    However, Kuwait’s suspension has now been completely lifted after the IOC was guaranteed that the country’s sports code meets the Olympic Charter.

    “For Kuwait we have re-confirmed their return,” says Pere Miro, IOC director of NOC relations.

    “Now after the Olympic Games, the sports code in Kuwait has been amended and the new sports code is in compliance with the Olympic Charter,” he says.

    Ecuador Faces Suspension, But Still Hope for Panama

    Miro also says the Ecuadorian Olympic Committee could face suspension if the ongoing power struggle between the NOC and the country’s sports ministry continues.
    Pere Miro talks NOCs. (ATR)

    “If you want to keep this Olympic Movement unified, you need to have principles, and that is what we’re saying,” Miro tells Around the Rings. “These principles should be respected if governments want sports in these countries.

    “At the moment, you have 21 dual national federations, one approved by the minister and one approved by international federations,” he explains. “We are in a position that if things do not progress, the case for suspension may come up at the next meeting.”

    And a similar situation could be in store for the Panama NOC, which has also struggled with internal problems.

    “Panama is an internal issue,” Miro says. “But last Saturday, 26 legitimate federations came together and elected the two Olympians that will be on the General Assembly.”

    Panama long jumper Irving Saladino, who won the country’s first and only gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, was named as one of the representatives with swimmer Ismael Ortiz joining him.

    Elections for the NOC General Assembly are expected to be held in two weeks' time.

    “This is the last opportunity they have,” Miro insists. “We have put in a lot of effort to help sort out the issue.”

    O’Leary Receives Warning for Beijing Bet

    Peter O'Leary (left) at Beijing 2008. (Getty Images)
    Meanwhile, Irish sailor Peter O’Leary was given just a warning after admitting that he placed a bet on an Olympic sailing event at Beijing 2008, with the IOC concluding that there was no evidence of match fixing.

    “This occurred in Beijing before we started our heavy duty-educating process,” says IOC communications director Mark Adams. “There is no evidence there was match fixing involved. It’s something we don’t agree with, but beyond that we won’t take any further action.”

    The Executive Board will continue Wednesday at the Lausanne Palace Hotel. (ATR)
    Olympic Solidarity Funding Increases

    In other news, the quadrennial plan for Olympic Solidarity was given a boost with funding increased to $435 million.

    “We have, I hope, a plan for the next four years that is especially helpful to athletes,” says Miro, who is also director of Olympic Solidarity.

    "This will help athletes qualify for Sochi and Rio as well as the YOG Games.”

    Pellegrin, Fazekas Cases Decided

    Finally, skier Elise Pellegrin’s change of nationality from French to Maltese was accepted while it was confirmed retroactively that canoeist Krisztina Fazekas was allowed to represent Hungary at the London 2012 Olympics.
    Krisztina Fazekas on the podium in London. (Getty Images)

    Pellegrin is hoping to compete at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, and the IOC confirmed that the change in nationality had been authorized after receiving the agreement of the two NOCs and international federations concerned.

    Fazekas won gold in the women’s K-4 500m event at London 2012. With Tuesday's decision, the result will not be questioned further.

    Reported in Lausanne by Nick Winn.

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