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Kuwait event stripped of Olympic status over Israeli ban

The Olympic rings at Madureira Park, the third largest park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 1, 2015
AFP Photo/Yasuyoshi Chiba
Kuwait violated non-discrimination principle of Olympic Charter when they denied a visa to Israeli official

The Asian Shooting Championship lost its Olympics qualifying status on Thursday after tournament hosts Kuwait banned an Israeli official from taking part.

Kuwait had denied a visa to Israeli Yair Davidovich who was due to supervise the event.

"Upon request of the International Sports Shooting Federation (ISSF), the IOC Executive Board today revoked the Olympic qualification status of the Asian Shooting Championship taking place in Kuwait City between 1 and 12 November," it said in a statement.

"The decision comes after the designated technical delegate from the ISSF, Yair Davidovich (Israel), who was due to supervise the event on behalf of the ISSF, was denied a visa by the Kuwaiti Immigration Department," the statement continued.

"The denial of a visa is against the non-discrimination principle of the Olympic Charter," said the IOC.

Another reason for Thursday's decision is the fact that the Kuwait National Olympic Committee is currently suspended by the IOC due to government interference.

According to the IOC, the KOC is not entitled to participate in any activity connected with the Olympic movement or exercise any right conferred upon it by the Olympic Charter or IOC.

The suspension will remain in place until a reasonable and mutually acceptable solution can be found although details of the alleged government interference were not released.

Earlier this month Abu Dhabi refused to grant visas to the members of Israel's national judo team, possibly jeopardizing their participation in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

Israel was expecting to send 15 competitors to Abu Dhabi, including former women’s world champion Yarden Gerbi and men’s European champion Sagi Moki, according to Israeli news site Ynet.

Israel's national windsurfing team in October announced that it had been barred from traveling to Oman by Israel's internal security service, the Shin Bet, over security concerns. While the team had successfully obtained visas to Oman after initially having problems, the Culture and Sports Ministry eventually decided against it.

At the time, an official with the Shin Bet said that "the Shin Bet invested great effort in trying to coordinate appropriate security arrangements" with Oman, adding that "as these efforts did not succeed ... the Shin Bet was compelled to invoke the authority accorded it by the government of Israel and bar the delegation from departing to its destination."

The Israel Sailing Association later backtracked and announced that its three most senior surfers, Ma’ayan Davidovich, Shahar Zubari and Nimrod Mashiah, would be allowed to travel to Oman.

(with AFP)


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