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IOC reinstates India

February 11, 2014

Indian athletes can compete in Sochi under their own flag after the International Olympic Committee lifted a ban on India's Olympic Association. The country has three athletes at the games.

Indian flag shown with Olympic rings. KAPPELER/AFP/Getty Images)
Image: Getty Images/Afp/Michael Kappeler

An International Olympic Committee spokesman confirmed on Tuesday that India could return to the Olympic fold with immediate effect.

"The decision means Indian athletes can compete for their national Olympic committee. They can walk behind their national flag at the closing ceremony," IOC spokesman Mark Adams said.

"The Indian flag will be raised in the village, at a time to be announced," Adams added.

India's three athletes have been competing at the games under the IOC flag as a result of the country's suspension in December 2012, when the IOC froze India's Olympic membership after the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) elected a number of tainted officials to key posts.

The reinstatement came after IOA elections on Sunday that did not involve any of the officials accused of corruption. World squash chief Narayna Ramachandran was elected as the association's new president.

The IOA agreed in December to keep the accused officials out of the February election, but rejected a request from India's sports ministry to hold the elections before the Sochi games started.

tj/ipj (AFP, Reuters, AP)