x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

IOC suspends India over election interference: officials

The IOC has suspended India's national Olympic committee because of government interference in its election process.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland // The IOC suspended India's national Olympic committee yesterday because of government interference in its election process.

After months of warnings, the IOC executive board imposed the sanction when the Indian Olympic Association failed to comply with the world body's demands for holding independent elections, two IOC officials said.

Suspension means the Indian body will stop receiving IOC funding and its officials will be banned from attending Olympic meetings and events. India's athletes will be barred from competing in Olympic events under their national flag, although the IOC could allow them to do so under the Olympic flag.

In New Delhi, the acting IOA president Vijay Kumar Malhotra said the association "has not been intimated about any suspension so far".

The IOC had repeatedly told the Indian body to adhere to its own constitution and the Olympic Charter and not follow the government's sports code for this week's elections. The IOC will not recognise the results if the elections are held under government rules.

The Indians have been mired in wrangling over the elections to replace Suresh Kalmadi, who was jailed for nine months on corruption charges related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Mr Kalmadi, who headed the IOA for 16 years, decided not to seek re-election.

The Indian vote, originally scheduled for last month, was postponed to today following the resignation of the election commission chairman SY Quraishi.