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India's suspension lifted; country's flag will fly in Olympic Village

  |   Feb. 11, 2014 at 4:10 AM
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SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The International Olympic Committee Tuesday lifted its suspension of India following a report about new elections at the Indian Olympic Association.

The lifting of the suspension -- the first time in history during an Olympic Games -- means Indian athletes who entered the Games under the Olympic flag during the opening ceremony can now compete for the National Olympic Committee of India and will walk behind their national flag at the closing ceremony.

"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 in the Olympic Village," the IOC said in a statement.

"The IOC Executive Board reinstated the National Olympic Committee of India, the Indian Olympic Association, during an ad-hoc meeting in Sochi today," the statement said. "The EB took this decision following a report about the IOA's General Assembly and elections for a new board, which were successfully held on Feb. 9, 2014, and observed by an IOC delegation headed by IOC member Robin Mitchell.

"The IOC observers told the 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 organization."

The IOA was suspended in December 2012 for failing to comply with the Olympic Charter and its statutes, relating specifically to good governance. The IOA was no longer entitled to exercise any activity or right, including financial support, conferred upon it by the Olympic Charter or the IOC, since that date, the IOC said at the time.

"Narayna Ramachandran, president of the World Squash Federation, has been elected as the new president, and Rajeev Mehta and Anil Khanna chosen as the new secretary general and treasurer, respectively," the statement said.

India won six medals at the 2012 Summer Games in London.

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