Government Decree Averts IOC Sanctions For Italy At Tokyo Olympics

Federica Pellegrini of Italy celebrates after winning in the women’s 200m Freestyle Final during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 24 July 2019.
Federica Pellegrini of Italy: Photo Courtesy: PATRICK B. KRAEMER

The Italian government pushed through a last-minute decree on Tuesday which prevented the team from being subject to a range of punishments by the International Olympic Committee at the Tokyo Games.

It gave more autonomy to the Olympic Committee of Italy (CONI) after a two-year dispute stemming from what the IOC said amounted to government interference.

The International Olympic Committee’s executive board was due to debate on Wednesday whether to impose a probation on Italy with banning the national flag and anthem among the potential punishments.

The Italian government formed an organisation in 2019 called “Sport e Salute” to run the sports finances which had traditionally been controlled by an arm of CONI.

Sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora said:

“The cabinet has approved a decree containing regulations that provide autonomy for the Italian Olympic Committee.

“Considering the long and glorious sporting and democratic history of our country it was improbable that Italy would be sanctioned.

“But today’s decision removes every doubt and resolves the issue of CONI’s independence.”

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