North Korea set to miss Beijing 2022 after IOC suspension
Country’s National Olympic Committee sanctioned for failing to send a team to Tokyo 2020.
IOC will not provide financial support to North Korean Olympic Committee during suspension
Olympic governing body reserves right to reconsider length of sanctions
North Korea has been suspended from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) until the end of 2022 after the country failed to send a team to this summer’s Tokyo Games.
North Korea said it chose not to send a delegation to the event because it wanted to protect its athletes from Covid-19. The Japanese capital reported several record-high daily cases over the course of the Games.
The ruling means North Korea will be unable to compete at next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics. IOC president Thomas Bach also said the North Korean Olympic Committee would not receive financial aid during the course of its suspension, with the IOC also definitively forfeiting support that had previously been withheld due to sanctions.
The IOC said it had held talks and offered solutions, including vaccines, to the North Korean Olympic Committee but they were rejected.
Thomas Bach hails “unprecedented Games” as Tokyo 2020 comes to an end
However, Bach did offer a glimmer of hope to North Korean athletes, pointing out that the IOC reserved the right to make decisions on any individual from the country who qualifies for Beijing 2022. The organisation will also reconsider the length of North Korea’s suspension.
The IOC president went on to confirm that the five athletes representing Afghanistan at this year’s Olympics and Paralympics did not return to the country in the wake of the Taliban taking power.
“As a result of all our efforts, all athletes from Afghanistan, who participated at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 are outside the country,” said Bach.
“Two winter sports athletes are also outside the country and continue training, hoping to qualify for Beijing 2022.
“Furthermore, a significant number of members of the Olympic community in Afghanistan received humanitarian visas and could leave the country.”