International Olympic Committee will suspend the Guatemalan Committee on October 15 and will be out of Paris 2024 if it does not meet criteria

International Olympic Committee will suspend the Guatemalan Committee on October 15 and will be out of Paris 2024 if it does not meet criteria

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The IOC Executive Commission, meeting in Lausanne (Switzerland), agreed this Thursday to disable to the Guatemalan Olympic Committee (COG) from October 15 if by then it has not met the criteria required by the international body to be in line with the Olympic Charter.

Part of the statutes of the COG were partially suspended last month by the Constitutional Court of the Central American country, after a lawsuit filed by a candidate for the presidency of the sports entity.

The IOC director for relations with the national committees, the British James Macleod, explained in a press conference that the Executive decided to “give one last chance” to the COG and the local authorities so that they “comply with the Olympic Charter”, regularize the situation and call elections “according to their own statutes.”

Specific, The IOC demands that the partial suspension of the COG statutes be lifted and that the country’s sports legislation guarantee the independence of the Committee.

The decision of the Olympic Executive comes just six weeks before Guatemala co-organizes the XII Central American Games with Costa Rica, starting on October 27.

“We’re aware of that,” MacLeod said, “and that’s why we’ve set that October 15 deadline to review the situation.”

For athletes in the region, it is an event of great importance, as it marks the beginning of the Olympic cycle that will lead to Paris 2024.

If the COG suspension were to go ahead, MacLeod recalled, Guatemalan athletes could not represent competing under their flag and their anthem or in the Olympic Games nor in other international competitions.

Similarly, the COG “would not receive funding from the Olympic Movement until the suspension is lifted.”

The origin of the conflict is in a struggle between former softball player Gerardo Aguirre, president of the Committee from 2014 to 2018 and from 2018 to 2022, and former soccer player Jorge Rodas, who intended to occupy that position in the next cycle.. Rhodes appealed the electoral process before the highest court in the country, which accepted his request and repealed part of the statutes of the sports organization.

A group of Guatemalan athletes demonstrated on August 30 at the gates of the court with banners contrary to said resolution and calls to “respect the autonomy of sport, as indicated by the Political Constitution of the Republic of Guatemala.”

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