by Marco Lopez
Yesterday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced its decision to suspend Guatemala’s National Olympic Committee effective Saturday, October 15. The suspension of the NOC follows a September 8 decision that was made by the executive board, after Guatemala’s NOC and relevant authorities failed to reach a resolution regarding the presidency of the NOC in that country. The former NOC president, Gerardo Aguirre, had been blocked from running for re-election, which resulted in the stalemate.
Aguirre challenged the amendment, but the Guatemala Constitutional Court ruled his action was unconstitutional—a move seen by the IOC as government intervention. This led to Guatemala’s suspension from the NOC until the NOC meets and finds an acceptable solution in line with the IOC executive board September 8 decision, which required Guatemala to resolve the matter to avoid being banned from international participation.
No such meeting was held in Guatemala to ensure such a resolution, and as a result, it was decided that Guatemalan athletes can no longer represent the country or compete under the country’s flag or name at the Olympic Games or other international multi-sport events. This will directly impact those athletes desirous of participating in the 2024 Summer Olympics.
In addition, the NOC of Guatemala is no longer entitled to operate as a national committee under the Olympic Charter, and will no longer receive any funds from the Olympic Movement.
This is until the suspension is lifted.
The release from the IOC states, “In the interest of the athletes and the Olympic Movement in Guatemala, the IOC has urged the NOC and the relevant authorities in Guatemala to meet and find an acceptable solution in line with the IOC Executive Board decision of 8 September 2022, which would allow the IOC Executive Board to lift the suspension of the NOC as soon as possible.”