IOC leaders to discuss Mexico dispute next month

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) A dispute that could lead to Mexico's suspension from the Olympics will be discussed by IOC leaders next month.

The International Olympic Committee said Friday the issue of government interference in Mexico will be reviewed by its policy-making executive board at its Dec. 8-10 meeting in Lausanne.

Mexico's participation in next year's Olympics in Brazil could be in jeopardy because of the conflict between the government and national sports federations. The sports bodies are facing financial inspections by a national government agency, which is questioning how funds are being spent.

The IOC opposes political interference in national sports bodies and says governments should respect the autonomy of the Olympic movement.

Last month, the IOC suspended Kuwait's national Olympic committee over government interference, leaving the country's athletes in limbo for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Carlos Padilla Becerra, president of Mexico's national Olympic committee, has said it would be ''a tragedy'' if Mexico is ruled out of the games.

Alfredo Castillo, head of Mexico's National Commission of Physical Culture and Sports, has been critical of the Olympic Charter, calling it ''the best invention that has been created to avoid monitoring of how public money is spent.''

Patrick Hickey, an IOC executive board member and the IOC's point man on autonomy issues, has written to the Mexican Olympic Committee to warn of possible suspension unless the situation is settled.

If Mexico is suspended, its athletes would be barred from representing their country at the Olympics. The IOC could consider giving the athletes special permission to compete as individuals under the Olympic flag, which it has done before for athletes from other countries under suspension.

Mexico won the men's soccer gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, beating Brazil 2-1 in the final. Mexico won a total of seven medals, including three silver and three bronze.