North Korea has been banned from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing because the country refused to send a team to the Tokyo Games citing pandemic concerns.
“They were violating the Olympic Charter and did not fulfill their obligation as stated in the Olympic Charter to participate,” International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said Wednesday in explaining the punishment.
But, according to Bach, individual athletes from the country who qualify for the Winter Games may still be able to compete pending a separate decision.
In April, North Korea announced the withdrawal of its team from the Tokyo Olympics. The Hermit Kingdom at the time said it needed to protect its athletes from the “world public health crisis caused by COVID-19.”
North Korea’s suspension lasts through 2022, but could potentially be extended, Bach said.
Ten North Korean competitors were sent to the 2018 Winter Games and none participated in 2014 at Sochi, Russia.
In 2010, North Korea sent two athletes to Vancouver.
With Post wires