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Olympics - Sheikh Ahmad, brother file cases against IOC at CAS over election

October 4, 2023 at 4:52 pm

Kuwait’s Defence Minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah gestures during a session at the National Assembly in Kuwait City on July 11, 2023 [YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP via Getty Images]

Kuwait’s Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah has lodged a case against the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) following his ban for “influencing” the election of his brother to a key Olympic post, Reuters reports.

Sheikh Ahmad was banned from the IOC for three years in July after it found he had an “undeniable impact” on Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) elections in which his brother, Sheikh Talal Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, was appointed president.

The IOC’s ethics commission said the IOC should not recognise Sheikh Talal’s appointment until a full review of the OCA elections process was carried out.

CAS confirmed both Sheikh Ahmad and Sheikh Talal had filed separate cases against the IOC at the Switzerland-based court.

Sheikh Ahmad, a former OCA president, travelled to Bangkok ahead of the OCA election in July and was in the city when it took place, which was “interpreted as interference in the election process” by the IOC’s ethics commission.

He has denied any wrongdoing.

Sheikh Talal was due to take over from India’s Randhir Singh, who was appointed acting president of the OCA in 2021 when Sheikh Ahmad stepped down after being convicted by a Swiss criminal court of forgery.

Sheikh Ahmad denied all the charges in the case and appealed the conviction. He is awaiting the outcome of the appeal.

“Following the IOC Executive Board decision of 27 July 2023 in relation to the provisional suspension of the IOC Member in Kuwait, Sheikh Ahmad … and, in particular, the point relating to not recognising the OCA’s elections of 8 July 2023 until a full review of these elections by the IOC, the IOC will continue to work with the acting OCA President, Mr. Randhir Singh, and OCA Executive Board that was in place prior to the Bangkok elections,” an IOC spokesperson said.

“We will not comment further during the ongoing review.”

Singh remains acting head of the OCA after being asked to remain in the role by the IOC following the election decision.

The OCA declined to comment on the CAS cases and has not responded to requests for updates on the review of its presidential election.

The OCA was created by Sheikh Ahmad’s father in 1981 and organises the Asian Games, which are usually held every four years. The 19th edition started in Hangzhou last month and runs to 8 October.

READ: Kuwait royal family member convicted of forgery in Geneva trial