January 13, 2011 / 12:16 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Olympics-IOC suspends Ghanaian Olympic Committee

* Ghana banned by IOC over sports law

* Netherlands Antilles Olympic Committee to cease

* India warned to keep hands of its own NOC (adds quotes, Netherland Antilles situation, India problems)

By Karolos Grohmann

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Jan 13 (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the Ghanaian national committee on Thursday after the government failed to take agreed steps to ensure there was no political interference in the body.

Ghana became the second country to be banned following Kuwait last year, after efforts to ensure the Ghanaian Olympic Committee was protected from domestic political involvement failed.

“The issue of Ghana is that there is a sports law that does not respect the provisions of the Olympic charter,” said IOC president Jacques Rogge.

“We were in discussion with the government and sport ministry. There have been many promises that the law will be changed but nothing materialised.”

Kuwait was suspended on Jan. 1, 2010 for political interference.

The ban means Ghana is not eligible for any IOC funds and its athletes are banned from competing in Olympic Games until the suspension is lifted.

“We hope the situation will be resolved as soon as possible. It is a bit premature to discuss what will happen at London (2012 Olympics),” Rogge added.

He also said that India needed to secure the autonomy of its NOC or risk further action which might “seriously affect the representation and participation of India at the Olympic Games and international sports events.”

Rogge said the IOC Executive Board had proposed withdrawing recognition of the Netherlands Antilles Olympic Committee as the country was split into autonomous territories within the Kingdom of the Netherlands in October last year.

A vote on this decision will take place at the IOC session in July.

Editing by Ed Osmond. To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com

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