The Executive Board (EB) of the IOC, in a statement on Tuesday, said that the Kuwait Olympic Committee (KOC) was suspended in order to “protect the Olympic Movement in Kuwait from undue government interference”.
The IOC said that it met the government and the Kuwait Olympic Committee on October 12 to resolve the issue over a piece of sports legislation that was seen as threatening the autonomy of the Olympic body but the talks proved fruitless.
“Unfortunately, the deadline expired today with no action having been taken by the Government of Kuwait,” the IOC said.
The move comes after Kuwait failed to amend its disputed sports legislation by the October 27 deadline set by the International Olympic Committee.
Football world governing, FIFA suspended Kuwait’s Football Association over the same issue two weeks ago.
The move means Kuwait is barred from taking part in “any activity connected with the Olympic Movement or exercise any right conferred upon it by the Olympic Charter or the IOC.”
All IOC funding to the Kuwait body is cut off, while the IOC said it “reserves the right to take further measures” regarding the participation of Kuwaiti athletes in the Olympics and Olympic-related events.
If the suspension is not lifted before the Olympics in Rio, Kuwaiti athletes would be barred from representing their country at the games.
The IOC would consider giving them special dispensation to compete as individuals under the Olympic flag.