In a development that should bring cheer to the sports fraternity, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) revoked the suspension slapped on the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Tuesday. The IOA statement from Sochi said, “The IOC Executive Board (EB) has reinstated the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of India, the Indian Olympic Association, during an ad hoc meeting in Sochi on Tuesday. The EB took the decision following a report about IOA’s General Assembly and elections, which were successfully held on February 9, 2014, for a new board and observed by an IOC delegation headed by IOC member Robin Mitchell.
“The IOC observers told EB members that the elections were held in full respect of the recently-passed NOC constitution, which complies with all IOC requirements, including the clause that no person convicted or charge-framed can run for a position within the organisation.
“It is the first time in Olympic history that a suspension of an NOC has been lifted during an Olympic Games and the decision will have an immediate impact.
“The EB decision means that the Indian athletes can now compete for the National Olympic Committee of India and will walk behind their National flag at the Closing Ceremony on February 23.
“To symbolically mark the lifting of the suspension and in recognition of the three Indian athletes competing in Sochi, the Indian flag will be raised at the Olympic Village.”
IOA President N. Ramachandran said: “I am delighted at this wonderful news. It augurs a new era for Indian sportsmen and women in the international arena. I must also thank the IOC President, Dr. Thomas Bach, and all the members of the Executive Board for this. I also express my gratitude to all members of the National federations and State associations for the support extended during this period.”