Olympics committee bans Kuwait's Sheikh Ahmad for three years, after allegations of 'interference' in OCA elections

Olympics committee bans Kuwait's Sheikh Ahmad for three years, after allegations of 'interference' in OCA elections
Kuwait's Sheikh Ahmad has been banned from the IOC after accusation of illegally interfering in an election in which his brother was elected president of the Olympic Council of Asia.
2 min read
28 July, 2023
Sheikh Ahmad has been described as the 'kingmaker' of Asian sports [Getty]

Kuwait's Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah has been banned for three years over his alleged involvement in the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) elections, after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved recommendations issued by its ethics body.

A former OPEC secretary-general, Sheikh Ahmad was already self-suspended as a member of the IOC after being convicted by a Swiss criminal court of forgery in 2021, following which he also stepped down as president of the OCA.

Earlier this month, his brother Sheikh Talal Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah was appointed president of the OCA by 24 votes to 20, with the IOC's ethics commission saying Sheikh Ahmad had an "undeniable impact" on the elections, which were held in Bangkok.

In its list of recommendations, the ethics commission called on the IOC "to sanction Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sabah by suspending all the rights, prerogatives and functions deriving from his quality as an IOC Member for a period of three (3) years...

"To recommend the Olympic Parties, including the IOC members, to refrain from interacting with Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sabah, in particular to avoid any risk of any perception of influence on any decisions regarding the Olympic Movement."

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Sheikh Ahmad travelled to Bangkok ahead of the election and was in the city when it took place, which was "interpreted as interference in the election process" by the ethics commission. Sheikh Ahmad has denied any wrongdoing.

The ethics commission added that the IOC should not "recognise these elections until a full review of the OCA's elections process is carried out at a later stage.

"To ensure that the Olympic contributions to the OCA, such as ... the Olympic Solidarity Funds, to be distributed to the Asian National Olympic Committees (NOC) directly by the IOC (and not through the OCA) until the OCA's elections have been recognised by the IOC."

Sheikh Ahmad was one of the most influential people in sports politics, holding key positions on both the International Olympic Committee and FIFA. He was last month named Kuwait's defence minister.

His father, Sheikh Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, was the first president of the OCA.