New Delhi: The deadline for the Indian Olympic Association to respond to the International Olympic Committee about their upcoming elections expires today. An IOA delegation comprising Hockey India Secretary General Narendra Batra and lawyer RK Anand is being sent to Lausanne, to meet IOC officials over the weekend. But is it too late now?
Going ahead with the assumption that the IOC does ban India after its Executive Board meeting on the 4th and 5th of December, what is likely to happen to India and its athletes?
For starters, the newly elected IOA officials and the body itself will not be recognised. The IOC may also ask India to remove the word 'Olympic' from IOA.
The athletes can compete under the IOC flag, instead of the Indian flag. This rule though applies only for the Asian Games and the Olympics.
For most other tournaments, like the World Championships, the athletes will be representing India.
"It just goes on to reiterate that in the agenda of things in India, athletes come the last," Olympic gold-winning shooter Abhinav Bindra said.
"If the IOC does de-recognise India, it will of course affect us. There are people who have been warned by the IOC in the past, those people should not contest in polls at all," Mansher Singh said.
South Africa, Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait are the countries that have been banned by the IOC in the past. In fact, just like India, Kuwait's government also interfered in its functions, that lead to a 2-year ban.
Can a compromise be arrived at before the IOC's Executive Board meeting? Or will India lose face thanks to the mishandling of the IOA elections?