The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has moved to ban Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah for three years, over alleged involvement in the recent presidential election of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
Sheikh Ahmad has been suspended by the IOC since 2021 when he was convicted of forgery in a Swiss court and stepped down from his role as the OCA’s president.
Earlier this month, however, his brother – Sheikh Talal Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah – was elected as the Asian body’s president in an election in Bangkok. Sheikh Ahmad was in Bangkok at the time, and the IOC’s ethics commission has now filed a report saying he had an “undeniable impact” on the process.
The IOC’s ethics commission has now called on the main body to “sanction Sheik Ahmad Al-Sabah by suspending all the rights, prerogatives, and functions deriving from his quality as an IOC member for a period of three years.”
The ethics body interpreted the Sheikh’s presence in Bangkok at the time his brother was elected as “interference in the election process.”
It has also advised the IOC “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.”
How well do you really know your competitors?
Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.
Your download email will arrive shortly
Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample
We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below formBy GlobalData
Sheikh Ahmad, who aside from his sporting activities is currently Kuwait’s defence minister and deputy premier, has so far denied any wrongdoing. He is also currently appealing the aforementioned forgery ruling.
Sheikh Talal and Sheikh Ahmad are sons of the first OCA president, Sheikh Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who founded the body in 1982 and led it until his death in 1990.
Sheikh Ahmad subsequently led the body from 1991 to 2021 before stepping down after a guilty verdict against him in a Swiss forgery trial, which related to an internal dispute within the Kuwaiti government. Sheikh Ahmad had been accused of being involved in a plot to overthrow the country's emir.
The ethics commission has also said that in terms of the OCA’s elections, the IOC should not “recognise these elections until a full review … 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 directly by the IOC (and not through the OCA) until the OCA's elections have been recognised by the IOC.”
An investigation was called for in the days following the election, with Pâquerette Girard Zappelli, chief ethics and compliance officer at the IOC, saying Sheikh Ahmad’s campaigning could be construed as “interference within the OCA’s activities.”
Sheikh Ahmad was seen, before the forgery case began, as a kingmaker in terms of sporting federations and governing bodies, and their elections.