IOC ends long suspension of Kuwait Olympic Committee following elections
The International Olympic Committee has today fully lifted the suspension of the Kuwait Olympic Committee, which has been in the sporting wilderness for nearly four years.
The decision was made in a postal vote of the IOC’s executive board after the KOC was deemed to have successfully implemented a roadmap agreed between all parties.
The final step on the roadmap, namely the revision and adoption of new KOC statutes, followed by KOC elections, was completed on 30 June - a week after the IOC executive board had met in Lausanne - with the holding of the KOC elective general assembly.
Sheikh Fahad Nasser Sabah Ahmad Al Sabah, the head of the Kuwait MotorCross Committee, was duly elected as president and Mohammed Jaffar, a prominent businessman, as vice-president, and a new board of directors installed.
The KOC was suspended by the IOC executive board in October 2015 on the grounds of government interference after a sports law was introduced in Kuwait that was deemed incompatible with the basic principles governing the Olympic Movement.
Following the drawing-up of a roadmap by an IOC-appointed supervisory committee, the ban was provisionally lifted in August 2018, which enabled Kuwaiti athletes to take part in last year’s Asian Games in Jakarta/Palembang and the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.
Today’s decision to fully lift the suspension followed a recommendation to do so from the same supervisory committee.
Despite the internal sports politics, Kuwait has been considered an important player in Olympic circles given it is home to Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, an influential IOC member.
However, last November, Sheikh Ahmad temporarily stepped aside as a member of the IOC, chairman of Olympic Solidarity and as president of the Association of National Olympic Committees, while strenuously denying any wrongdoing over a charge of forgery brought against him in Switzerland.
Sheikh Ahmad, an IOC member since 1992, and regarded as a close ally of president Thomas Bach, is alleged to have been involved with four others in a complex forgery scheme relating to an internal political dispute in Kuwait, which included staging a fictitious arbitration in Geneva.