The Guatemalan Olympic Committee remains suspended by the IOC due to legal issues with its governance ©Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has described the Guatemalan Olympic Committee's (COG) situation as "deteriorating", with its Executive Board opting to maintain the National Olympic Committee's (NOC) suspension here.

The COG was suspended in October having failed to meet a deadline set at the last IOC Executive Board meeting to resolve legal issues with its governance.

It is set to be the only NOC to be suspended by the IOC at the start of 2023, after confirmation that North Korea would be reinstated at the end of the year following its failure to attend Tokyo 2020.

Guatemala's Constitutional Court provisionally suspended several of the COG's statutes and regulations and the election of the Executive Committee chaired by Gerardo Aguirre earlier this year.

Aguirre is recognised as the winner of the COG's elections earlier this year by the IOC, but the Electoral Court of Federated Sports named Jorge Alexander Rodas as the victor, and he appealed to Guatemala's highest court which brought about its decision on the COG statutes.

Last month, the Constitutional Court ruled that Rodas should take office as COG President, but he was unable to be sworn in at an inauguration ceremony because the Palace of Sports facilities in Guatemala City were closed and only nine national governing bodies appeared, according to Guatemalan publication Prensa Libre.

The IOC Executive Board is holding its final meeting of the year in Lausanne ©IOC/Greg Martin
The IOC Executive Board is holding its final meeting of the year in Lausanne ©IOC/Greg Martin

A report on NOCs was provided to the IOC Executive Board, which ruled it is not in a position to lift the COG's suspension.

"The IOC EB also heard an update on the situation in Guatemala, following the EB's decision on 8 September 2022 to suspend the NOC as of 15 October 2022 as no solution could be found between the NOC and the relevant authorities in Guatemala," an IOC statement read.

"As the situation is deteriorating, the suspension will be maintained until an acceptable solution is found by the parties concerned."

Aguirre has admitted the suspension "may lead to a setback of no less than 10 years" for sport in Guatemala.

Suspension means Guatemalan athletes cannot represent the country or compete under its flag and name at international multi-sports events.

It has already led to the cancellation of the Central American Games earlier this year, which Guatemala was due to co-host with Costa Rica.

Guatemala has competed at every Olympic Games since Mexico City 1968, winning its only medal through Érick Barrondo's men's 20 kilometres race walk silver at London 2012.