LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — North Korea was formally suspended from the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics by the IOC on Wednesday as punishment for refusing to send a team to the Tokyo Games citing the COVID-19 pandemic.
IOC president Thomas Bach said the North Korean national Olympic body will also now forfeit money it was due from previous Olympics. The unspecified amount — potentially millions of dollars — had been withheld because of international sanctions.
Individual athletes from North Korea who qualify to compete in Beijing could still be accepted by a separate decision in the future, Bach said.
The suspension marks a steep drop in North Korea’s Olympic status since the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea, where the International Olympic Committee tried to aid a diplomatic breakthrough.