Pow­er­ful Sheikh quits top Olympic body amid late drama


The Gulf Today - Panorama - - SPORT -

One of the most in­flu­en­tial fig­ures in in­ter­na­tional sport of­fi­cially stepped down from a pow­er­ful Olympic body this week as he fights forgery charges in Switzer­land. Sheikh Ah­mad Al-fa­had Al-sabah had al­ready an­nounced he was “tem­po­rar­ily” step­ping aside from his In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC) du­ties and asked not to be re-elected pres­i­dent of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tees (ANOC). “I am con­fi­dent I am in­no­cent. I trust the court of jus­tice in Switzer­land

... I know I am in­no­cent. I am sure about that and I will fol­low through on my trust in the court in Switzer­land,” he told del­e­gates. “I will de­cide to step aside — of my own will — for a while and to come back to you stronger,” added the Kuwaiti power­bro­ker. But there was last-minute drama at the gath­er­ing in Tokyo as sev­eral rep­re­sen­ta­tives pushed for the Sheikh — the only can­di­date for ANOC pres­i­dent — to be re-elected any­way. In chaotic scenes, del­e­gate after del­e­gate spoke to de­fend Sheikh Ah­mad, ar­gu­ing that he had be­come em­broiled in a po­lit­i­cal af­fair that had noth­ing to do with sport and that was be­ing played out in the courts. After an un­sched­uled last-minute in­ter­ven­tion from the Sheikh, del­e­gates fi­nally agreed to post­pone the elec­tion for pres­i­dent while he sorts out his le­gal is­sues.

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