Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

International Olympic Committee reinstates India at Sochi after ban

By Jethro Mullen, CNN
updated 11:40 AM EST, Tue February 11, 2014
Indian Sports Minister Jitendra Singh addresses a press conference in New Delhi on February 11, 2014.
Indian Sports Minister Jitendra Singh addresses a press conference in New Delhi on February 11, 2014.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • It's the first time a ban of a national committee has been lifted during an Olympics
  • The IOC suspended India in 2012 over the election of a tainted official to a top post
  • The Indian Olympic Association has now held new elections that the IOC has approved
  • Indian athletes will now be able to walk behind the national flag at Sochi's closing ceremony

(CNN) -- The International Olympic Committee has reinstated India, allowing its athletes to once again compete under their country's flag after a ban of more than a year.

The reinstatement raises to 89 the number of countries and territories participating in the Sochi Games.

"It is the first time in Olympic history that a suspension of an NOC (National Olympic Committee) has been lifted during an Olympic Games," the IOC said in a statement Tuesday.

The decision means that Indian athletes can now compete for India's Olympic committee and walk behind their national flag at the closing ceremony of the Winter Games in Sochi on 23 February, the statement said.

At the opening ceremony last week, India's delegation of three athletes had marched under an IOC flag.

India was suspended from the Olympic fold in December 2012 after the Indian Olympic Association elected Lalit Bhanot, who spent 11 months in jail on corruption charges, to a top post.

The situation remained deadlocked for months, as the Indian association refused to bow to the IOC's demands for changes.

But the IOC said Tuesday that it had ended the suspension following the Indian association's general assembly and elections for a new board on Sunday.

An IOC delegation that observed the elections reported that they complied with the requirement that "no person convicted or charge-framed can run for a position within the organization."

Narayna Ramachandran, the president of the World Squash Federation, was voted in as the new president of the Indian association.

"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 Tuesday.

India responded positively to the announcement.

"I am happy that suspension is over and now Indian teams and players will take part in the International events under the national flag," said Vijay Kumar Malhotra, the former acting president of Indian Olympic Association.

READ: Sochi 2014: India's answer to 'Cool Runnings?'

READ: 2012: Indian Olympic Association suspended by IOC

READ: While Indian football sleeps, its young hopefuls dream of playing abroad

CNN's Harmeet Shah Singh and Khushbu Shah contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:42 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
It was supposed to be a class trip to a resort island. Instead, the ferry capsized, turning the afternoon into a deadly nightmare.
updated 1:31 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
It's hard not to be nervous, standing outside the Ebola isolation wards.
updated 8:58 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Ukraine says it's forces have regained control of an airfield from Russian separatists. Nick Paton Walsh reports.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
updated 5:16 PM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Officials are launching their next option: an underwater vehicle to scan the ocean floor.
updated 1:53 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
How are police preparing for this year's 26.2-mile marathon, which takes place Monday?
updated 1:02 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Katrina Karkazis
Romance is hard, for anyone. For people with intersex traits, love poses unique challenges.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis".
updated 5:26 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
The "kill switch," a system for remotely disabling smartphones and wiping their data, will become standard in 2015.
updated 12:32 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
updated 2:51 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Sky gazers caught a glimpse of the "blood moon" crossing the Earth's shadow Tuesday in all its splendor.
updated 11:09 AM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
A staff stands next to the propellers of Sun-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 HB-SIB seen in silhouette during its first exit for test on April 14, 2014 in Payerne, a year ahead of their planned round-the-world flight. Solar Impulse 2 is the successor of the original plane of the same name, which last year completed a trip across the United States without using a drop of fuel. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
This solar-powered aircraft will attempt to circle the globe next year.
ADVERTISEMENT