POSTED: January 14th 2011

IOC suspends Ghana in hope of forcing action at last over sports law

Jacques Rogge: hopeful of resolution before the London Games / lake images
Jacques Rogge: hopeful of resolution before the London Games / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

LONDON/LAUSANNE, Jan 13: The Olympic movement has finally run out of patience with Ghana and suspended its National Olympic Committee from IOC activity. The impasse could threaten participation of Ghanaian athletes at London 2012 though IOC president Jacques Rogge hopes a resolution is around the Olympic corner.

Rogge, following an IOC executive board meeting in Lausanne, said: “There is a sports law in Ghana which does not properly respect the provisions of the Olympic Charter and we have been in discussions about this for a long time.

"There have been many promises that the law would be changed but nothing materialised so the executive board has been compelled to suspend the National Olympic Committee.

“As far as the prospect of Ghanaian athletes being suspended from London 2012 is concerned, we hope the situation will be resolved in good time so as not to affected their participation. In that case we would consider measures to help the athletes but we do not expect it to come to that.”

One possible solution could be that offered to athletes of the Netherlands Antilles which is on the brink of dropping off the Olympic world map altogether because of its wavering status.

Rogge said: “Netherlands Antilles was never a sovereign state but a territory under the Dutch crown. A referendum decided to re-engage with territory status so the whole issue is that this NOC has no territory any more so the only option was to withdraw recognition.

"This is the EB’s recommendation to the Session [in Durban in July].

“However, we don’t want to harm the athletes so there will still be financial and technical support available so that, should they qualify, they can participate in London [as in certain previous instances] under the Olympic flag.”

** The bidding process for the 2010 Olympic Games has been sharpened to assist cities which may wish, on climatic grounds, to move the Games from the traditional July/August slot. IOC president Jacques Rogge said that such proposals must be assessed early in the process so as to obviate unnecessary expense of time and effort – as with Doha in the 2016 bidding process.

Keywords · IOC · Rogge · Ghana · Netherlands Antilles

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