IOC strips Kuwait shooting event of Olympic qualification status

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has stripped the 2015 Asian Shooting Championship, which is taking place in Kuwait, of its qualification status for the 2016 Olympic Games.

The championship, which will take place in Kuwait City from November 1-12, was due to serve as a preliminary round for next year’s Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

But after Yair Davidovich, an Israeli representative of the International Sports Shooting Federation (ISSF) whom was due to supervise the event on behalf of the body, was refused a visa by the Kuwaiti Immigration Department the IOC opted to revoke the championship’s qualification status.

The denial of a visa is not in line with the non-discrimination principle of the Olympic Charter, which all Olympic qualification events must adhere to.

Commenting on the situation, ISSF president Olegario Vazquez Raña said: “The ISSF is very concerned about this development and regrets it in particular regarding our Asian athletes.

“We will work under full speed to provide a location for another qualifying competition and try to find a good solution for the distribution of the 35 quota places assigned to our Asian athletes as soon as possible. This solution should also include some financial support to the participating athletes to cover part of the extra costs.”

Kuwait’s position was not helped by its recent suspension by the IOC over government interference. In a meeting between the IOC and the country’s government and Olympic Committee earlier this month, attempts were made to resolve a sports legislation issue that threatened to undermine the self-government of the Kuwait Olympic Committee.

A compromise could not be reached and as a result Kuwait was banned from all Olympic-related activity.