IOC suspends North Korea through 2022 for skipping Tokyo Games

IOC President Thomas Bach said on Wednesday the IOC President said the International Olympic Committee would exclude North Korea from the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics as a punishment for its absence from the Tokyo Olympics.

As for the decision to skip the Tokyo and Paralympic Games because of COVID-19 safety concerns, the North Korean National Olympic Committee will also permanently cancel payments that have been withheld by the IOC due to international sanctions. economic for the country, Bach said.

“By not attending, they violated the Olympic rules and failed to fulfill their obligations,” Bach said in an online press conference after the IOC executive board meeting. “(North Korea’s NOC) suspended until the end of 2022 due to their unilateral decision.”

The suspension would also exclude North Korea from other Olympic programs and support through 2022, although Bach said the nation’s athletes qualified for the Beijing Olympics could be allowed to compete. on an individual basis.

While the Tokyo Olympics coincided with a record coronavirus infection rate in Japan, the head of the IOC said safety measures included an “Olympic bubble”, limiting contact between foreign delegations and public, has been shown to be effective.

“I think we can still say these matches are safe, because we have no indication that any infection is being transferred from the Olympic bubble to the people of Tokyo or the Japanese people,” Bach said. “I think this is supported by the scientific evidence and the fact that you have characters that are emerging not only in Tokyo, but all over Japan.”

Bach said the Tokyo Olympics provide a “symbol of hope the world is longing for” during the pandemic, while proving that the Beijing Winter Olympics can go ahead safely as scheduled. next February.

The head of the IOC also praised a recent agreement between the NHL and its players’ union that paved the way for many of ice hockey’s biggest stars to play in Beijing.

“I think all ice hockey fans around the world can look forward to an Olympic ice hockey tournament in Beijing 2022,” Bach said.

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