Kuwait government sues Olympic body after IOC suspension
KUWAIT CITY (AP) The Kuwaiti government filed a $1.3 billion suit against 14 board members of the Gulf state's Olympic committee, including the influential head of the world association of national Olympic bodies.
Among those named in the suit was Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, the president of the Association of National Olympic Committees.
The sheikh is also a senior member of the IOC, head of the Olympic Council of Asia and an executive committee member of FIFA.
The suit was filed Tuesday by the Public Authority of Sports against the board members of the Kuwait National Olympic Committee. It accuses them of corrupting the Olympic movement in Kuwait and interfering in sports affairs.
The International Olympic Committee suspended the Kuwaiti body in October on grounds of government interference in sports. The suspension could keep Kuwaiti athletes from representing their country at this year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The lawsuit further widens the rift between the Kuwait government and the IOC, making a speedy lifting of the suspension less likely.
The suit is also the latest chapter in a bitter dispute between the government and Sheikh Ahmad, who is a member of Kuwait's royal family.
Last month, the sheikh received a suspended six-month sentence for disobeying a prosecutor's gag order by discussing a video involving a purported plot to overthrow the government. He said he would appeal, calling it a ''personal attack'' that was ''symptomatic of the current relationship between Kuwait and the sports movement.''
The government has threatened to shut down the Kuwait-based headquarters of the Olympic Council of Asia, according to the IOC.
Kuwait was first suspended by the IOC in 2010, also in a dispute over government interference. The country was reinstated in 2012 ahead of the London Games after Kuwait's ruler, Sheik Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, pledged autonomy for the Olympic committee and promised new legislation for institutions governing sports.