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International News: International Olympic Committee suspends Guatemala’s National Olympic Committee

Posted: Monday, October 17, 2022. 1:06 pm CST.

Photo Credit: IOC

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Sunday that its Executive Board had suspended the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Guatemala because it had not been able to solve a local dispute with Guatemala’s authorities.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said its Executive Board had, on September 8, 2022, advised the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Guatemala and the relevant authorities in Guatemala to solve the impasse but the deadlines had passed without any resolution.

“The suspension of the NOC of Guatemala means, in particular, that the athletes of Guatemala can no longer represent the country and compete under the country’s flag/name at the Olympic Games and other international multi-sports events,” said the IOC in a statement.

“The NOC of Guatemala is no longer entitled to operate as an NOC according to its role as defined in the Olympic Charter and will no longer receive any funding from the Olympic Movement, until the suspension is lifted.”

According to Prensa Libre, the IOC had ruled in its September 8 decision that if Guatemala’s Constitutional Court did not unsuspend the NOC statutes, Guatemala would be banned from all international participation under the IOC.

The IOC said it was urging the Guatemalan NOC and the relevant authorities in Guatemala “to meet and find an acceptable solution in line with the IOC Executive Board decision of 8 September 2022, which would allow the IOC Executive Board to lift the suspension of the NOC as soon as possible”.

According to Prensa Libre, the Guatemalan conflict started when ex-football player Jorge Rodas was elected president of the Guatemala NOC on October 9, 2021. Gerardo Aguirre, who was seeking reelection and who wasn’t allowed to compete in the elections, took the matter to court challenging the amendment of the NOC statutes, which had been supported by the IOC.

The Constitutional Court ruled that the amendment had been unconstitutional. The IOC considered the court’s ruling to be government intervention and proceeded with Guatemala’s suspension.

Prensa Libre says the ban is affecting Guatemalan athletes who are trying to qualify to the Summer Olympic Games in Paris 2024. If the sanction is not lifted, the only way they could participate is under the IOC banner.

 

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