Exclusive: Kuwait twice rejected deal to lift Olympic ban - IOC

Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:03pm EDT
 
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By Karolos Grohmann

BERLIN (Reuters) - The government of Kuwait twice refused to sign a deal hammered out in negotiations with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that would have lifted the Olympic ban on the country, the IOC said on Friday.

Kuwait was suspended in October, 2015, for the second time in five years due to government interference in the country's Olympic Committee over a new sports law.

Despite negotiations in January and Kuwaiti representatives twice approving a draft deal, the government refused to endorse it, Pere Miro, IOC Deputy Director General for Relations with the Olympic Movement, told Reuters.

"At the end of January with representatives sent by the government of Kuwait we had meetings in Geneva with the United Nations. The United Nations was witness of the conversations," Miro said.

"We were discussing for five days and after that we got two times a draft already agreed between the negotiators. We got an agreement with negotiators on what should be changed in the law."

"Every time with these two drafts the government at the end gave instructions to the negotiators not to sign," Miro said.

The ban angered Kuwait which filed a civil lawsuit against the country's Olympic committee and is also trying to get the Olympic Council of Asia, head-quartered there, to leave the country.

Kuwait was also banned in 2010 over a similar dispute but was reinstated before the 2012 London Olympics.   Continued...

 
A general view of the Kuwait Olympics Committee and Sports Federation in Kuwait City in this June 28, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Tariq AlAli/Files