|IOC lifts suspension of India
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Tuesday it has lifted a 14-month-long suspension of India's membership after New Delhi reshuffled its national Olympic association.
"The IOC Executive Board (EB) reinstated the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of India, the Indian Olympic Association, during an ad-hoc meeting in Sochi on Tuesday," the IOC said in a statement, Xinhua news agency reports.
The IOC suspended India because of latter's government intervention in the local Olympic association leadership election and the participation of suspected criminals in the national association.
"The EB took this decision following a report about the IOA's General Assembly and elections for a new Board, which were successfully held on Feb. 9, 2014 and observed by an IOC delegation headed by IOC member Robin Mitchell," it said,
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has barred criminal suspects from its election held on Sunday here, in which World Squash Federation chief and younger brother of Board of Cricket Council of India leader N. Srinivasan, N Ramachandran, was elected president.
The IOC has been "satisfied with the IOA elections, while promising to submit a "favorable report to the IOC president".
"The IOC observers told the EB members that the elections were held in full respect of the recently passed NOC constitution, which complies with all IOC requirements, including the clause that no person convicted or charge-framed can run for a position within the organization," the IOC said.
As a result of the IOC's decisions, the Indian athletes will now be able to compete under the national flag at international events.
India has participated the Sochi Winter Olympics under the IOC flag as independent athletes.
From now, Indians would now be allowed to carry the tri-color national flag during the closing ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics.
"It is the first time in Olympic history that a suspension of an NOC has been lifted during an Olympic Games, and the decision will have an immediate impact. Indian athletes entered the Sochi Games under the Olympic flag during the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 7, 2014, and have competed as Independent Olympic Participants," the IOC said.