LAUSANNE: In a major embarrassment to India, the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday suspended the Indian Olympic Association.
This means that Indian athletes cannot participate in the Olympic Games under the national flag unless the suspension is revoked by the IOC. The alternative is for Indian athletes to participate in the Olympics under the IOC banner, if allowed.
Suspension also will lead to the Indian Olympic Association getting any IOC funding (it gets about Rs 8 crore in 4 years).
The decision to suspend India was taken by the IOC executive board at a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The IOC said that the IOA had been suspended due to the Indian government's interference in the electoral process.
Elections to the IOA were held as a part of the sports code framed by the Indian government which the international sports body had said was wrong.
The sanctions were imposed on IOA after the Indian Olympic Association did not comply with the IOC rules on the holding of elections.
The IOC had time and again told IOA to stick to the IOC's constitution and the Olympic Charter and not to the Indian government's sports code.
Earlier, the IOC had refused to meet the IOA's two-member delegation before the executive board meeting began. The IOA wanted this meeting to explain its position and to clear the air over the election controversy.
The newly-elected IOA president Abhay Singh Chautala had asked acting president VK Malhotra to set up a two-member panel, consisting of NK Batra and RK Anand, to plead India's case with the IOC.