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IOC bans Indian Olympic Association over elections

December 04, 2012

-AFP File Photo

PARIS: India has been suspended from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) because of its stance of electing tainted officials, a source in the body confirmed to AFP Tuesday.

Asked whether members of the IOC's executive committee had confirmed the south Asian giant's suspension for flouting the Olympic charter, the source said by text message: “It's official.”

No further details were immediately available and the IOC was expected to make an official announcement later in the day at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The suspension comes amid an ongoing row between the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the IOC over the election procedure for top posts in the national organisation due to be held on Wednesday.

A New Delhi court has directed the IOA to hold the vote according to the government's sports code but the IOC wanted it to abide by the Olympic charter that favours autonomy.

Lalit Bhanot, who is out on bail after spending 11 months in custody last year on corruption charges linked to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, was expected to be elected unopposed to the post of secretary-general.

The new IOA president was expected to be Abhey Singh Chautala.

Chautala told AFP in New Delhi on Wednesday: “I have not heard anything officially but am told that India has been suspended by the IOC. If that is true, it is wrong and a one-sided decision.

“We will meet tomorrow (Wednesday) to decide our future course of action.”Chautala, a politician in northern Haryana state, is known to be close to former IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi, who is also on bail over corruption charges.

The IOC Ethics Commission in October warned India against fielding either Bhanot or Kalmadi for the post.

Suspension from IOC membership would mean India would not receive IOC funding and its officials would be banned from attending Olympic meetings and events.

India's athletes would also be barred from competing in the Olympics under the national flag, although the IOC could allow some to take part under the Olympic flag.