India’s Suspension Lifted, 89 Countries Compete In Sochi Winter Games

Indian flag

Image courtesy of smarnad / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There are 89 countries and territories competing in this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, after the International Olympic Committee reinstated India after a one-year ban.

India’s athletes can now compete under the country’s flag. According to a statement written by the IOC, it’s the first time ever that a National Olympic Committee suspension is lifted while the games are going on.

The IOC decision means Indian athletes can participate for India’s Olympic committee and walk with their national flag during the Winter Games’ closing ceremony on Feb. 23. During the games’ opening ceremony, the three Indian athletes had to march under the IOC flag.

The country was suspended in December 2012 after Lalit Bhanot, an Indian Olympic Association was elected to the top post. Bhanot spent nearly a year behind bars on corruption charges. The Indian association did not want to comply with the IOC’s changes’ demands, which led to a deadlock situation for months.

However, the suspension was lifted after the general assembly and new board elections were held Sunday.

An IOC delegation watched the elections and reported back that India’s association was in compliance with the requirement that no person that has been charged or convicted can have a position in the organization.  The new Indian association president is Narayna Ramachandran.

The IOC said the Olympic Village will now have the India flag raised because of the lift in suspension, recognizing the three Indian athletes who are competing in the Winter Games.

Former Acting President for the Indian Olympic Association Vijay Kumar Malhotra said he was happy to see the suspension lifted and that Indian players and teams can now be a part of the events under the country’s flag.

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Posted by on Feb 11 2014. Filed under Featured, New, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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