(ATR) The IOC Executive Board has entered the long-running dispute over the leadership of the Panama Olympic Committee by effectively cancelling any of the Panama committee's rights or privileges until the outstanding issues can be resolved.
Leadership of the committee has been under challenge for years, with a rival faction of sports federations winning a verdict in 2006 that invalidated the election for officers held in 2002.
Since then, two separately elected NOCs, each with its own president, are claiming to be the true NOC.
The IOC EB, meeting in Guatemala, has appointed one of its members, Mario Vazquez Rana to carry out an inquiry and “take the necessary measures so that the Panama NOC can duly comply with the Olympic Charter,” says the IOC decision.
Rana has already been involved in attempts at mediating the dispute, along with Spanish Olympic Committee president Alejandro Blanco.
The EB says the rights of the athletes to compete internationally, such as at the upcoming Pan American Games, should not be affected by the decision.
The Pan American Sports Organization, headed by Rana, has already passed a resolution allowing the participation of the Panama team in Rio de Janeiro this month, under the PASO flag.
IOC Communications Director Giselle Davies says Rana can be expected to report at the next meeting of the EB, scheduled for December.
On the scene coverage from the IOC meetings in Guatemala continues throughout the week at www.aroundtherings.com, for subscribers only.