Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
Brunei in race against time for YOG
Saturday, 10th July 2010

President of the Brunei Darussalam
National Olympic Council His Royal
Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah
during the 2nd Roundtable
Discussion between the BDNOC
and the Ministry of Culture, Youth
and Sports.Picture: Infofoto

Time is running out for the Sultanate as they will have to rush to get a team ready to compete in the inaugural Olympic Youth Games (YOG), scheduled for August 14-26 in Singapore.

A spokesman told Olympics coverage website Around the Rings that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is trying to help the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC) meet next week's deadline to name a team for the YOG.

The IOC official was however unable able to provide more details on exactly what is taking place with the BDNOC.

Should Brunei fail to register any athletes to compete by July 15, they will face the prospect of being banned from the 2012 Olympics in London and they have been warned.

His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, the President of the BDNOC, claimed that they will be punished if they fail to do so after what happened at the 2008 Beijing Olympics during the 2nd Roundtable Discussion between the BDNOC and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) at the Muzakarah Hall of the International Convention Centre in Berakas on Tuesday.

Brunei was the only National Olympic Council (NOC) out of the 205 IOC members that did not send its athletes to the Beijing Olympics held from Aug 8 to 24 in 2008 which led to the IOC duly proposing a ban for the Sultanate.

It is compulsory for every NOC to send athletes to the Olympics with the Olympic Charter stating that "each NOC is obliged to participate in the Games of the Olympiad by sending athletes ... and any council (which) withdraws from participating in any Olympic Games without the consent of the IOC executive board ... would end up being sanctioned or measures such as fines will be imposed".

If sanctions were imposed on the country, the BDNOC would be expelled from the IOC and would not be able to take part in any IOC or Olympic Council Asia (OCA)-sanctioned competitions, effectively plunging Bruneian athletes into a world of international sporting darkness.

Brunei quickly moved to appeal the decision in September, 2008, pleading that the MCYS could not send an athlete (Md Yazid Yatimi Yusof) for the shot put event as he sustained injuries during a national tournament in June.

The appeal was accepted by the IOC, saving Brunei from isolation.

Earlier in the week, Brunei was already facing international criticism because it is one of only three countries with - Qatar and Saudi Area - that have never sent female athletes to represent the country at the Olympics.

Datin Hjh Adina Othman, the Deputy Minister of MCYS, claimed that if any women reached the qualifying standards for London 2010 then they would be selected.

Since 1988, Brunei has sent only one athlete to Atlanta in 1996 and one to Athens in 2004.

Courtesy from Brunei Times