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IOC warns CONI over proposed sports law

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has expressed “serious concerns” at a new sports law proposed by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) and has issued the body with a suspension warning over the matter.

In a letter addressed to CONI president Giovanni Malago and seen by the AFP news agency, the IOC has stated that the proposed law would “clearly affect the autonomy” of CONI.

AFP reports that the law would allow the government to reform the organisation of Olympic sport in Italy. The IOC feels the legislation would not conform to the principles outlined in the Olympic Charter.

The letter to CONI was signed by James Macleod, the IOC’s director of Olympic solidarity and NOC relations, who has suggested that CONI should not be reorganised by “unilateral decision from the government”.

Macleod added: “CONI should be an autonomous and legally independent organisation governed primarily by the Olympic Charter and its own statutes, within the framework of the applicable laws under which it is legally registered in the country.”

According to Italian news agency Ansa, the IOC has said that it can adopt measures to protect the autonomy of a national body by “suspending or withdrawing the recognition of the Olympic committee”.

The warning comes after the IOC in June awarded Italy hosting rights to the 2026 winter Olympic Games. The Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo bid won out over a rival proposal from Stockholm-Are in Sweden.