India suspended by Olympic Committee

The International Olympic Committee has suspended India after a row over government interference in their election process.

A court in Delhi had forced the Indian Olympic Association to hold their elections today under the government’s controversial sports rules, with the IOC demanding they follow their Olympic charter.

The wrangle led to two candidates stepping down and left Lalit Bhanot, who spent 11 months in custody last year linked to charges of corruption during Delhi’s hosting of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, unopposed for the position of secretary general.

But the suspension means the elections will not be recognised by the IOC, who will also withhold funding from the IOA, while Indian athletes will be prevented from competing at future Olympics until the ban is lifted.

“The Executive Board decided to suspend the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) due to its failure to comply with the Olympic Charter and its statutes, failure to inform the IOC in a timely matter, and as a protective measure against government interference in the IOA’s election process,” read an IOC statement.

“With this decision, the IOA is no longer entitled to exercise any activity or right, including financial support, conferred upon it by the Olympic Charter or the IOC until the suspension is lifted by the IOC Executive Board.”

The only Indian to win an individual Olympic gold medal, Abhinav Bindra, welcomed the decision and criticised the IOA for allowing Bhanot to be in a position where he could be elected unopposed.

“It’s about politics and stooping to a new low,” Bindra told www.insidethegames.biz.

“It is agonising to see such people coming back.”

He later tweeted: “Bye Bye IOA, hope to see u again soon, hopefully cleaner!”


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