Countries Banned from the Olympic Games
There are many countries that have chosen to miss the Olympic Games due to boycotts, but did you known that there have been many instances where countries have been banned from attending? The banning of the Russian athletes from the Rio Olympics and their sanctions at the Tokyo Olympics is a recent example, but certainly not the first time that a team or country has been banned from participating at the Olympic Games.
Here is a timeline of countries that have been banned:
1920 Antwerp: Five countries were banned from the Olympics due to their involvement in the First World War: Austria, Bulgaria, Türkiye, Hungary and Germany.
1924 Paris: The ban of Germany following WWI continued, though Austria, Bulgaria, Türkiye, Hungary were allowed to compete.
1948 London: Germany and Japan were barred for their participation in the Second World War.
1964 Tokyo: South Africa was banned by the IOC from taking part due to its oppressive apartheid regime. This ban lasted until 1992. IOC also banned all athletes that took part in the 1963 Games of the New Emerging Forces (GANEFO). Indonesia and North Korea withdrew in protest of this decision.
1968 Mexico: the ban on South Africa due to their apartheid regime continued. North Korea competed again in the second GANEFO in 1966), which meant they were suspended by the IOC, causing the nation to miss the 1968 Olympics as well.
1972 Munich: The ban on South Africa due to their apartheid regime continued. Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe) was banned from participating, as other African countries threatened to pull out if Rhodesia took part.
1976 Montreal: the ban on South Africa due to their apartheid regime continued.
1980 Moscow: the ban on South Africa due to their apartheid regime continued.
1984 Los Angeles: the ban on South Africa due to their apartheid regime continued.
1988 Barcelona: the ban on South Africa due to their apartheid regime continued.
2000 Sydney: Afghanistan was banned from the Olympics due to its discrimination against women under Taliban rule as well as its prohibition of sports of any kind.
2016 Rio: Many Russian competitors were banned following revelations of state-sponsored doping. The Kuwaiti Olympic Committee had been suspended since October 2015 due to interference from the government (they were also suspended in 2010, but the suspension was lifted before the start of the 2012 Olympic Games). Subsequently a total of nine Kuwaiti athletes competed under the Olympic flag.
2020 Tokyo: Under ongoing sanctions from the state-sponsored doping, Russian athletes were prevented from competing under their own name and flag.
- Olympic Games Boycotts and Political Events
- Olympic Games History
- Alternative Olympic Games
- Books about the History of the Olympic Games