Kuwait gets more time to avoid ban

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- The IOC on Wednesday gave Kuwait an extra five months to change its sports laws and avoid being suspended from the Olympic movement.

Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, led a meeting with Kuwaiti government and sports officials who faced a July 31 deadline to amend national laws that currently allow politicians to interfere in elections at sports organizations.

The Kuwaitis promised that the legal changes would be completed by Dec. 31.

"The Kuwait authorities expressed their willingness to find an appropriate and suitable solution in order to avoid the suspension," the IOC said in a statement.

Kuwait's existing laws breach the Olympic Charter, which is designed to protect the independence of national Olympic committees and sports federations.

The Kuwait delegation said Wednesday its government would decide by the end of the month how to begin amending the laws in the national parliament.

It also agreed to allow sports federations in Kuwait to draft their own rules according to the Olympic charter.

"Should the Kuwait authorities be unable to respect any steps noted above, the decision of the IOC executive board would be immediately enforced and the suspension of the Kuwait Olympic Committee would come into effect," the IOC said.