POSTED: September 21st 2008

Brunei absence could prove painful

Special Correspondent / Sports Features Communications

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Brunei risks punishment by the International Olympic Committee for being the only NOC not to participate in Beijing. The IOC executive board will discuss the issue in December in Lausanne.

The Brunei Times newspaper, quoting a source from the Olympic Council of Asia in Kuwait City and who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed the agenda item with reference to the Brunei NOC and noted there was no way to bring any decision forward.

The source said: “The IOC's executive board will make a decision in December when it next convenes for a meeting. There is no way to push forward the meeting as the executive board has already set the date and agenda well in advance.”

The IOC excluded Brunei from participating in the Opening Ceremony in Beijing hours before it began after the NOC failed to register the country’s two athletes by the required deadline. The unlucky two were 15-year-old swimmer Maria Grace Koh and shot putter Mohammed Yazid Yatimi Yusof.

The issue is being pursued under a by-law within Rule 28.3 of the IOC Charter which states: “The NOCs have exclusive authority for the representation of their respective countries at the Olympic Games and at the regional, continental or world multi-sports competitions patronised by the IOC. In addition, each NOC is obliged to participate in the Games of the Olympiad by sending athletes."

A by-law governed by Rule 45.9 on the Olympic Games states:  “The withdrawal of a duly entered delegation, team or individual shall, if effected without the consent of the IOC executive board, constitute an infringement of the Olympic Charter and shall be subject to an inquiry and may lead to measures or sanctions.”

Depending on the consequences of the sanctions – which range from suspension to withdrawal of recognition - Brunei may have problems participating in other continental events such as the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

Keywords · Brunei · Olympic Games · Beijing 2008

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