The International Olympic Committee is set to lift the ban on the Indian Olympic Association after the latter agreed to amend its constitution and leave out tainted administrators. In a Special General Body meeting on Sunday in New Delhi, The IOA decided to follow the IOC's guidelines on good governance and bar charged-framed officials. As a result Lalit Bhanot and Abhey Singh Chautala will not feature in the fresh IOA elections, which will be held on February 9. A formal announcement on lifting of the ban is expected from IOC after the elections are held.
In December 2012, the IOC rejected IOA elections observing government interference in a vote that could result in a tainted official taking over as secretary-general. "They are not entitled to have elections and if for some reason they go ahead, this will not be recognized," said the IOC's Pere Miro, in charge of relations with national Olympic committees in December last year. "This is because this is part of a full problem. The election process has been tarnished since the origin. Many different interferences, many governmental rules and their own bad interpretation of IOA statutes," Miro had said.
India faced the ultimate humiliation of being kicked out of the Olympic movement unless the IOA kept tainted officials out of its ranks. In an interview to Associated Press, new IOC chief Bach had said that IOC "is prepared to withdraw recognition of the IOA if it fails to comply with rules of good governance" by Tuesday, a punishment that could leave the world's second most populous nation out of all Olympic competitions.
In Lausanne on Tuesday, the IOC executive committee welcomed the IOA's decision to amend its constitution and hold fresh elections. Should IOC lift the ban on IOA, which now looks like a formality, Indian athletes will be able to participate in IOC-approved events under the Indian flag.
Story first published on: Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:21 IST