IOC panel: Kuwait keeping athletes out of qualifying events

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) The IOC athletes' commission has condemned attempts by Kuwaiti authorities to prevent athletes from competing in qualifying events for next year's Olympics.

Kuwait's national Olympic committee was suspended by the IOC last month for government interference.

Claudia Bokel, chair of the IOC athletes' commission, says the panel learned ''with dismay about attempts by the Kuwaiti authorities to prevent athletes from taking part in national and international sporting events, including qualifiers for the Olympic Games'' in Rio de Janeiro.

She says it was ''never the IOC's intention to penalize the athletes in Kuwait'' when it suspended the national committee on Oct. 27.

Bokel says ''we condemn in the strongest terms'' any attempt to block athletes from competing.