LAUSANNE, Switzerland – North Korea’s qualifying spots for next month’s Tokyo Olympics were reassigned on Tuesday after it decided not to attend the Games, the International Olympic Committee said.
North Korea said in April that it would not attend the Olympics due to coronavirus concerns, dealing a blow to the IOC’s efforts to have 206 national Olympic committees, including North and South Korea, at the Games in Japan. .
“In April, they (North Korea) held a general assembly and there was a decision at that time,” James Macleod, the IOC’s director of Olympic solidarity, told a virtual press conference.
“The problem is that they did not inform us officially. We had many ongoing discussions about the reasons and to offer them as many guarantees as possible. “
It will be the first time North Korea has missed a summer Olympics since it boycotted the Seoul Games in 1988.
“We would like 206 National Olympic Committees to participate in the Games,” Macleod said. “There was a point where we had to make a decision about the qualifying places. So today there was a decision of the executive board (of the IOC). “
“Today we needed to reallocate those four spots to be fair to the other athletes.”
The Olympics have already been postponed a year and preparations continue amid global concerns about how organizers can keep volunteers, athletes, officials and the Japanese public safe when they begin on July 23 after a fourth wave of infections. .
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