WASHINGTON (Agencies): The IOC revoked the Olympic qualifying status of a shooting championship in Kuwait on Thursday after an Israeli official was denied a visa to enter the country for the event.
The IOC executive board stripped the Asian Shooting Championship of its Olympic status on the request of the International Sports Shooting Federation. The event is scheduled from Nov 1-12. The IOC said the federation’s technical delegate, Yair Davidovich of Israel, was scheduled to supervise the event on behalf of the ISSF but was denied a visa by the Kuwaiti immigration department. “The denial of a visa is against the nondiscrimination principle of the Olympic Charter,” the IOC said. “The Olympic Charter must apply for all Olympic Qualification competitions.”
The decision came two days after the IOC suspended Kuwait’s national Olympic committee because of government interference. It also came as Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, a Kuwaiti, chaired the general assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees in Washington. The suspension came after Kuwait failed to amend its disputed sports legislation by the Oct 27 deadline set by the International Olympic Committee. FIFA suspended Kuwait’s soccer association over the same issue two weeks ago. If the suspension is not lifted before next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Kuwaiti athletes would be barred from representing their country at the games.
The IOC would consider giving them special dispensation to compete as individuals under the Olympic flag. Kuwait was first suspended by the IOC in 2010, also in a dispute over government interference. The country was reinstated in 2012 ahead of the London Games after His Highness the Amir Sheik Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, pledged autonomy for the Olympic committee and promised new legislation for institutions governing sports. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah inaugurated Thursday the 20th ANOC General Assembly with record-breaking participation of 1,200 delegates from 206 National Olympic Committees (NOCs).
In his inaugural speech, Sheikh Ahmad hailed the largest participation of the national committees from the four corners of the globe. This participation shows that the great status of the ANOC as one of the pillars of the international Olympic movement, he said. He welcomed the attending International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and Washington Mayor. Sheikh Ahmad also welcomed the delegates of the national Olympic committees of South Sudan and Kosovo which recently joined the ANOC.
The meeting — which is the largest event for the Olympic Movement outside of the Olympic Games — will mark the first of its kind to be held in the United States since Atlanta hosted the event in 1994. The two-day event will tackle a wide array of key issues related to the world sports and Olympic committees across the world.
It will also touches upon the relationship among ANOC, the International Olympic Committee, the International Anti-Doping Agency and the Court of Arbitration for Sport. On Wednesday, Sheikh Ahmad chaired the 68th session of ANOC Executive Office which chose the Qatari capital Doha to play a host for the ANOC General Assembly of 2016. It also chose the US city of San Diego to host the coming Beach Games.