Sports tri­bunal re­jects Kuwait shoot­ing ap­peal

IOC slams in­ter­fer­ence

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

LAU­SANNE: The in­ter­na­tional sports tri­bunal yes­ter­day dis­missed ac­cu­sa­tions made by a Kuwaiti chal­lenger when long­stand­ing In­ter­na­tional Shoot­ing Fed­er­a­tion (ISSF) pres­i­dent Ole­gario Vazquez Rana won re­elec­tion in 2014. Sheikh Sal­man Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s In­for­ma­tion Min­is­ter and for­mer head of the Asian Shoot­ing Con­fed­er­a­tion, had al­leged “a num­ber of vi­o­la­tions” when Mex­i­can Rana won the vote, said a Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport (CAS) state­ment.

But a CAS panel “was un­able to find suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence that the rule vi­o­la­tions al­leged by Sheikh Sal­man took place, and in ad­di­tion, could not find any in­di­ca­tion of how cer­tain al­leged fail­ures could have af­fected, or did af­fect, the va­lid­ity of the elec­tion.” Rana, an 80-year-old busi­ness ty­coon and for­mer Olympic com­peti­tor, has led the in­ter­na­tional shoot­ing fed­er­a­tion since 1980 and is also a long­stand­ing In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee mem­ber. Sheikh Sal­man was an ISSF vice pres­i­dent when he sought to oust Rana in the vote in Dec 2014. Shoot­ing is one of the most pop­u­lar sports in Kuwait.

Separately, the IOC ath­letes’ com­mis­sion has con­demned at­tempts by Kuwaiti au­thor­i­ties to pre­vent ath­letes from com­pet­ing in qual­i­fy­ing events for next year’s Olympics. Kuwait’s na­tional Olympic com­mit­tee was sus­pended by the IOC last month for gov­ern­ment in­ter­fer­ence.

Clau­dia Bokel, chair of the IOC ath­letes’ com­mis­sion, said the panel learned “with dis­may about at­tempts by the Kuwaiti au­thor­i­ties to pre­vent ath­letes from tak­ing part in na­tional and in­ter­na­tional sport­ing events, in­clud­ing qual­i­fiers for the Olympic Games” in Rio de Janeiro. She says it was “never the IOC’s in­ten­tion to pe­nal­ize the ath­letes in Kuwait” when it sus­pended the na­tional com­mit­tee on Oct 27. Bokel said “we con­demn in the strong­est terms” any at­tempt to block ath­letes from com­pet­ing.

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