Press releases 18th March 2019

Open Letter to: The International Olympic Committee Association of Summer Olympic International Federations World Karate Federation

Dear IOC, ASOIF and WKF,

Global Athlete would like to draw your immediate attention to the current situation where athletes from the Irish Karate Federation are being used as pawns and held back from competing at the European Championships scheduled to take place on 28-31 March 2019 due to an internal dispute within the Karate Ireland National Sport Governing Bodies. The internal dispute has resulted in the formation of two Executive committees in the National Federation. One party is recognised by the Irish Sports Council and National Olympic Committee, while the other party is only recognised by the World Karate Federation.

Only those athletes supporting the longstanding former President are registered to compete, while those not supporting the former President, are being blocked. This is totally against the fundamental rights of athletes to compete and is a prime example of the sad and backward state of sport governance. This is why a balance of power between athletes and sport administrators is needed NOW!

As leaders of sport, you have a duty to step in to uphold the rights and welfare of these athletes. Global Athlete is aware they have formally written to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and have received no response. Your silence equals complicity. We also call on the IOC Athlete Commission and the European Athlete Commission to stand shoulder to shoulder with these athletes to support their right to compete.

• This Open Letter was published by Global Athlete on 18 March 2019 via email.

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