olympics

The International Olympic Committee on Tuesday suspended the Indian Olympic Association because of government interference, a development which puts a bar on the country’s Olympic participation.

Associated Press, quoting two officials with knowledge of the decision, said that a formal decision about the suspension will be made at the end of the first day’s Executive Board meeting in Lausanne.

The Indian Olympic Association has been banned and elections on Wednesday will be “null and void”, the IOC said on Tuesday, claiming government interference in a vote that could result in a tainted official taking over as secretary-general.

Suspension meant that the IOA will stop receiving IOC funding and its officials will be banned from attending Olympic meetings and events. India’s athletes will be barred from competing in Olympic events under their national flag, but they can participate under the IOC banner.

The suspension comes amid an ongoing row between the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the IOC over the election procedure for top posts in the national organization due to be held on Wednesday.

New Delhi court directed the faction-ridden IOA to hold the vote according to the government’s sports code but the IOC wanted it to abide by the Olympic charter that favours autonomy.

International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said he could not comment.

“I can’t discuss that because any decisions that are taken have to be communicated to any countries involved,” he said.

“I have not heard anything officially, but am told that India has been suspended by the IOC,” Indian Olympic Association’s president-elect Abhey Singh Chautala told AFP.

“If that is true, it is wrong and a one-sided decision. We will meet tomorrow (Wednesday) to decide our future course of action.”

Sports Minister Jitendra Singh said that it was an “unfortunate decision” for Indian sports community.

“Once we knew about the mess we had written to the IOC but they never responded,” Jitendra said.

 

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