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International Olympic Committee Suspends India

  • VOA News

Abhey Singh Chautala, who is unopposed for election as Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President, speaks to reporters after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the IOA because of government interference in its election process, Dec. 4, 2012.

Abhey Singh Chautala, who is unopposed for election as Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President, speaks to reporters after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the IOA because of government interference in its election process, Dec. 4, 2012.

The International Olympic Committee has suspended India, citing concerns about the election of tainted officials to the national committee.

Sources close to the IOC said it is expected to announce its official decision later Tuesday during a meeting at the world body's headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The ban means the Indian Olympic Association will no longer receive funding from the IOC and its officials will not be allowed to attend Olympic meetings and events. Indian athletes will be banned from competing in Olympic events under their national flag.

The decision comes after months of warnings by the IOC, which told the Indian body to elect its officials this week according to the Olympic charter and not the government's sports code.

The vote to choose the Indian Olympic Association's leaders has been scheduled for Wednesday, and Lalit Bhanot is set to take over the post of secretary-general after running unopposed. He spent 11 months in custody last year on corruption charges linked to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and is currently out on bail.

The IOC has raised questions about Indian government interference in the association's elections.

Indian Olympic Association interim head Abhay Singh Chautala told reporters in New Delhi that the country has still not received official word of the IOC's decision but that a decision to suspend would be "wrong" and "one-sided."
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