IOC bans North Korea for missing Tokyo Olympics, helps over 100 escape from Afghanistan

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Mumbai, Sep 8 (IANS) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has suspended North Korea for unilaterally withdrawing from the recently-concluded Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and has helped nearly 100 members of the Olympic community from Afghanistan to leave the Taliban-controlled country on humanitarian visas.

The IOC is closely monitoring the situation regarding the participation of women and girls from Afghanistan in sports and will decide on this issue as per the Olympic Charter.

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The decision to suspend North Korea’s National Olympic Committee (NOC) from the Olympic movement till the end of 2022 was taken in IOC’s first executive board meeting after the Tokyo Olympic Games.

As per the decision, the country will not receive any monetary assistance, accrued towards it from the past that was held back because of international sanctions. The IOC will decide on the fate of sportspersons from North Korea but said that the athletes will not suffer because of this decision, IOC president Thomas Bach said at a virtual press conference after the EB meeting.

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“The accrued financial support from the IOC, that was due to be allocated to the PRK NOC but had been withheld due to international sanctions, will be definitively forfeited, given that the PRK NOC did not contribute to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The PRK NOC will not be entitled to benefit from any assistance or programme from the IOC during the period of suspension,” the IOC president said.

Bach said that the IOC will continue to closely monitor the situation in Afghanistan and take a decision regarding Taliban’s stated stand of disallowing participation in sports by women and girls, according to the rules of the Olympic Charter.

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The IOC decided to only recognise and give affiliation to the existing NOC in Afghanistan, which was “democratically elected in 2019”, and will not recognise any other body installed by the Taliban.

The IOC said it has helped around 100 people from Afghanistan to get humanitarian visas and leave the country because of the political turmoil. Bach announced that all the athletes from Afghanistan that participated in Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics are safe and outside the country. It also said as far now, the members of the NOC and IOC representative from Afghanistan, Samira Asghari is coordinating efforts towards ensuring the safety of members of the Olympic community.

The IOC also said that it will give the Afghan athletes that participated in Tokyo Olympics so that they can prepare and participate in future events.

Bach said the Tokyo Olympics were a success despite the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Tokyo and Japan as there was no proof that the Olympics had contributed to this rise of cases.

“There is no evidence of the infections being transferred from the Olympic bubble to people in japan. There is no scientific evidence suggesting this,” he added.

–IANS

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