There was always going to be a reaction from the International Olympic Committee with regards to the refusal to allow Israeli swimmers to participate in the Para Swimming in Kuching.

After the Sports Minister took to the world media ( BBC Hard Talk and South China Morning Post), it was only a matter of time that the repercussions were to be put in place,

And it is learnt that IOC, through James Macleod, the Director of Olympic Solidarity and NOC Relations had sent an advisory to all its member countries and International Sports Federations.

Among other things, the circular, dated February 5 stated ;

“ This decision was taken following public statements made by the government of Malaysia, and after the relevant authorities failed to provide the necessary guarantees that Israeli Para swimmers could participate, free from discrimination, and safely, in these Championships, as per the IPC protocol”

In short the IOC was highlighting the fact that their circular was as a result of the decision undertaken by the government of Malaysia

What was more damaging was one of the paragraphs in the circular that made clear IOC’s stand and advice to the international sports federations.

“We sincerely hope that a solution can be quickly found for the future; however, as things stand at the moment, and until the situation is resolved and clear written guarantees are obtained from the highest government authorities, it is our duty to inform you that Malaysia is not in a position, and, in fact, has excluded itself from the right, to host any international sporting events in which a sporting delegation from Israel is due to take part.”

The circular further provides clarification that IOC sourced the assistance of the Olympic Council of Malaysia to resolve the impasse with the government.

It is, although unclear, as to what extent OCM had initiated steps or discussions with the Minister of Youth & Sports, but suffice to say that a clarification attempt by OCM Secretary-General Dato Nazif on the IOC charter had ruffled some feathers within the OCM and some others.

So, for the time being, it’s a “ no-go” in trying to bid for world class events to be hosted in Malaysia, as no guarantee towards any form of participation by an Israeli athlete or official can be provided by any sports body in the country,

In parting, the final paragraph of the circular further emphasizes the “subtle” warning to all national olympic committees and international sports federations

“We trust that the above will be fully taken into consideration, and take this opportunity to call again on your vigilance when allocating international sports events to a country, to make sure that all the necessary written guarantees are provided by the local authorities/organiser for equal treatment of all participating athletes and sporting delegations, in accordance with the basic principles of autonomy of sport and non-discrimination.”


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