By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

July 7 - Brunei faces the prospect of being banned from the London 2012 Olympics if it does not send athletes to compete at the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore next month, they have been warned.

Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, the President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC), has claimed that they will be punished if they do not compete because of what happened at the Olympics in Beijing two years ago.

Then the tiny Southeast Asia county was expelled from Beijing after they failed to respond to repeated requests from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to register any of its athletes.

Prince Haji told Brunei's Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports: "I would like to draw the attention to the First Youth Olympic Games which will take place in Singapore from August 14-26, 2010.

"The closing date for the participation falls on July 15.

"Brunei Darussalam must participate in the Games.

"If not, there will be a huge repercussion of dire consequences on the country's membership being suspended by IOC.

"And if this happens, Brunei Darussalam will not be able to join any sporting events that is recognised by IOC.

"Brunei Darussalam's membership in IOC nearly was suspended for failing to send athletes to the Beijing Olympic Games 2008.

"However based on the efforts and reasons that have been provided, the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council was able to convince IOC not to suspended Brunei Darussalam's membership.

"The IOC has sent a stern warning that if Brunei Darussalam fail to send athletes to Olympic Games, its membership in the IOC will automatically be suspended.

"The warning has been a continuous concern for me because Youth Olympic Games is part of the Olympic Games."

Brunei is already facing international criticism because it is one of only three countries - along with Qatar and Saudi Arabia - that have never sent female athletes to represent them at the Olympics.

Earlier this week, Datin Hajah Adina Othman, the Deputy Minister at Brunei's Culture, Youth and Sports Ministry, claimed that if any women reached the qualifying standards for London 2012 then they would be selected.

Prince Haji said: "The participation of communities is not an issue in Brunei Darussalam because of the policies, financial support and sport infrastructures that are prepared by the Government.

"The President of BDNOC is not only given the mandate by IOC to give endorsement to athletes that will represent the country but also BDNOC is handed with the rights to determine, select any athletes that is deemed qualified to participate in sporting competition in the regional and international stage."

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