Olympic Committee suspends North Korea from 2022 Beijing Games

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Sept. 8 (UPI) — The International Olympic Committee on Wednesday suspended North Korea from participating in the 2022 Beijing Olympics after it skipped the Tokyo Summer Games.

In a statement, the IOC said it suspended the Olympic Committee of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea through the end of 2022, requiring it to forfeit any financial support allocated to the nation and barring it from benefitting from any IOC assistance or programs during the length of the suspension.

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Additionally, any North Korean athletes seeking to compete in the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing will be required to complete a qualification process.

North Korea announced it would skip the Tokyo Olympics in April “in order to protect players from the world public health crisis caused by COVID-19.”

The IOC noted that North Korea was the only National Olympic Committee, or NOC, that did not participate in the 2020 Olympics violating Rule 27.3 of the Olympic Charter which states in part that “each NOC is obliged to participate in the Games of the Olympiad by sending athletes.”

Additionally, the committee said it held various discussions with Pyongyang and “offered constructive proposals to find an appropriate and tailor-made solution” to persuade North Korea to attend, including providing vaccines, but the nation still declined.

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“Throughout the process, the PRK NOC was given a fair opportunity to be heard and received very clear warnings about the consequences of its position and the fact that any violation of the Olympic Charter would ultimately expose the PRK NOC to the measures and sanctions provided in the Olympic Charter.”

The IOC added that it “reserves the right” to reconsider the length and direction of the suspension.

Norway’s Karsten Warholm celebrates winning the gold medal and setting a new world record of 45.94 secons in the men’s 400-meter hurdles final. Photo by Bob Strong/UPI | License Photo