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IOC ends ban on Indian Olympic association

Suspension lifted after country's association elected new officials, replacing corruption-tainted ones.

Last updated: 11 Feb 2014 09:07
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Indian athletes will once again be allowed to compete under the Indian flag [AFP]

India has returned to the Olympic fold after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) lifted a ban on the country's Olympic Association.

Indian athletes have been competing at the Sochi Winter Games under the Olympic flag due to the country's suspension, imposed after the country held a 2012 Olympic association (IOA) election in which a corruption-tainted official was voted in as secretary-general.

On Sunday the IOA elected a new set of officials. World Squash Federation chief N Ramachandran was elected president with All India Tennis Association chief Anil Khanna becoming treasurer in polls which marked the exit of corruption-tainted Abhay Singh Chautala and Lalit Bhanot from the IOA.

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"It's great news for the Indian athletes," Randhir Singh, International Olympic Committee member from India, told Reuters, after the IOC lifted the ban on IOA on Tuesday.

"IOA has finally realised that the Olympic Charter is supreme and you have to fall in line and follow the principles of ethics and good governance. Tainted officials have no place in IOA," he said.

Newly elected IOA secretary-general Rajeev Mehta told Reuters the news was a great start for the new team.

"I got a call from the IOC this morning confirming the ban has been lifted and I'm now waiting for a written communication. It's a great start for the new team at IOA.

"Indian athletes will be competing once again under the Indian flag. It's a great relief for us."

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