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  • Ghana Cleared for London Olympics


    The flag of Ghana will be present at the London Olympics. (Getty Images)
    (ATR) The IOC confirms to Around the Rings the Ghanaian Olympic Committee is once again a member of the Olympic Movement.

    On Friday, the IOC Executive Board lifted its suspension of the GOC, which was stuck in a quagmire over its autonomy.

    In January the GOC was suspended by the EB due to political interference. The IOC feared that a new sports law would infringe upon the GOC’s autonomy as the government had the authority to appoint heads of national sporting federations. The Olympic Charter mandates all National Olympic Committees must be free of government interference.

    Following an IOC meeting with the GOC earlier this year, the Ghanaian parliament amended the law in July, the requirement set forth by the IOC to be reinstated.

    Troubles initially began in 2009.

    Benson Baba lost his reelection to Francis Dodoo at that time. Dodoo is a professor in the United States and was believed to be backed by the national government.

    Baba did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Had Ghana's suspension remained in place for the London Olympics, its athletes would have had to compete under the Olympic Flag, not Ghana’s.

    Only one other National Olympic Committee, Kuwait, remains under IOC suspension.
    Sheikh Ahmad, president of the still-suspended Kuwait Olympic Committee. (ATR)

    In an interview with Around the Rings, KOC president Sheikh Ahmad said he is confident the IOC will lift Kuwait’s suspension “very soon”.

    “Before London 2012 Games this problem will be solved," said Ahmad, also president of the Olympic Council of Asia. "We will be very keen to make the Kuwaiti athletes walk in the Opening Ceremony under the Kuwaiti flag.”

    Ghana’s Olympians have won four medals at the Games: a silver in boxing in 1960, a bronze in boxing in 1964 and 1972 and a football bronze at the 1992 Olympics. No African country had won a medal in football at the Olympics before.

    Nine athletes represented Ghana at the Beijing Olympics, with six coming from boxing.

    Ghana made its first Olympic appearance in 1952 as the Gold Coast. Since then its flag has appeared at every Olympics except the 1956, 1976 and 1980 Games.

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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