The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday suspended the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) over the government’s interference in the latter’s functioning. The IOC had opposed the IOA conducting elections as per the government sports code and not according to the Olympic charter.
If the suspension is not revoked, India cannot participate in the Olympic Games and other events organised or sanctioned by the IOC. The IOA was directed by a Delhi court to hold elections as per the government sports code. The IOC’s stand is that the elections to the IOA should be held according to the Olympic charter. The IOC considers that its authority is being infringed as the elections to the IOA would not be conducted as per the Olympic charter. Hence, the decision to suspend the IOA was made at the IOC executive board meeting held in Lausanne.
The IOA will not get funding from the IOC as long as it remains suspended. Officials of the IOA would not be allowed to attend meetings of the IOC, while Indian athletes would not be able to represent the team under the Indian national flag at events organised and sanctioned by the IOC. The only solace for India is that no big sports events organised by the IOC are due to be held in the next couple of years.
The IOC had, on many occasions, reminded the IOA to follow the Olympic charter and not the government’s sports code for conducting elections. The apex body had also informed the IOA that if elections are not held as per the Olympic charter, the results would not be recognised by it.
Acting IOA President Vijay Kumar Malhotra said the IOA has been urging the government not to impose the sports code on the IOA. He said the IOA had also written to the Prime Minister in November in this regard.