CAS has dismissed the appeals of the ASC, the KSF and three athletes against the IOC and ISSF ©ISSF

An appeal launched by the Asian Shooting Confederation (ASC), the Kuwait Shooting Federation (KSF) and three Kuwaiti competitors after last year’s Asian Championships in the country was stripped of its Olympic qualification status has been dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The two bodies, as well as athletes Saud Abdulrahman Ahmad Habeeb, Pourya Mohammadreza Norouziyan and Elham Hossein Harijani, had contested the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) to remove the opportunity to qualify for Rio 2016 at the event.

It came as a result of the Kuwait Immigration Department refusing to give ISSF technical delegate Yair Davidovich of Israel, who was due to oversee the event, a visa to enter the country.

The ISSF was informed of the development by the ASC and the IOC’s ruling Executive Board then withdrew its qualification status in October.

The IOC had also suspended the membership of Kuwait two days before after the country missed a deadline imposed by the governing body for changes to be made to a Government law which it is claimed interferes with the independence of sporting institutions.

The controversial new sports law - introduced by Kuwaiti Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Homud Al-Sabah, who stepped down as ASC President in November - officially came into effect earlier this month.

The organisation saw Kuwait not allowing Davidovich into the country as a direct violation of the non-discrimination principle of the Olympic Charter which should apply for all Olympic Qualification competitions.

The Asian Olympic qualifier was instead held in New Delhi in January ©Facebook
The Asian Olympic qualifier was instead held in New Delhi in January ©Facebook

The Asian Shooting Championships in Kuwait still took place as planned but without Rio 2016 qualification on offer as the ISSF instead held a separate event to allow competitors from the continent to reach the Olympics.

New Delhi stepped in to host a replacement Olympic qualifier in January, where a total of 25 Rio 2016 quota places were awarded in rifle, shotgun and pistol events.

As a result of the CAS ruling, all results from the event in the Indian city stand, meaning those who qualified there retain their places at the Olympics.

The CAS threw out the appeals of the ASC, the KSF and the trio of athletes, including an attempt to get the IOC and ISSF to pay the €1.347 million (£1.1 million/$1.5 million) cost of the organisation of the Asian Championships in Kuwait.

The announcement from the CAS marks the latest blow to Kuwait, which remains in sporting exile in the wake of their new sports laws, which have been described as “human rights threatening” by critics.

The regulations have led to the country being banned from competing at Rio 2016 under their own flag, while they remain suspended from a number of global governing bodies, with FIFA and the ISSF among 15 International Federations to have banned the country. 

The ISSF ratified the suspension of Kuwait at its General Assembly in Moscow earlier this month.