North Korea has been barred from taking part in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) sanctioned the country for not participating in this year’s Tokyo Olympics.
IOC President Thomas Bach told reporters Wednesday that North Korea was the only country that failed to send a team to Tokyo. The decision, according to the IOC, violates their obligations under the Olympic charter.
But Bach left the door open for North Korean athletes to compete in Beijing later.
“If any athlete from North Korea is eligible for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, through the qualification process, the IOC executive board will make the appropriate decision, in due course, regarding the athlete in question. And, the IOC executive board reserves the right to reconsider the duration of the suspension at its sole discretion.”
Pyongyang has refused to send a team to Tokyo because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tokyo Olympics were held under a state of emergency due to rising infection rates across Japan.
North Korea participated in the 2018 Winter Olympics held in Pyeongchang in competition with South Korea. [lt/em]