India eyes return to Olympics with government guarantees

Wed May 15, 2013 7:40pm IST

The Olympic rings are seen in front of the airport of Sochi, the host city for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, February 18, 2013. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/Files

The Olympic rings are seen in front of the airport of Sochi, the host city for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, February 18, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach/Files

Related Topics

REUTERS - India has assured the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of the Olympic movement's autonomy in the country in a first step towards mending relations after the nation was banned from the Olympics over government interference.

"(India's) Sports Minister Jitendra Singh gave strong guarantees and a clear commitment that the government of India will fully respect the principle of autonomy of the Olympic movement," the IOC said on Wednesday.

The IOC's comments came at the end of a meeting with India's sports minister, national federations and suspended Indian Olympic Association (IOA) members in Lausanne.

The IOC banned the country in December after refusing to recognise the results of IOA elections due to government interference, which led to a tainted official being named its secretary general.

"It was agreed in particular that the drafting of the new sports bill will be undertaken in close coordination with the IOA and the national federations, and with prior consultation with the IOC to ensure that it will be fully compatible with the principles and rules of the Olympic Movement," the IOC said.

The ban meant an end to funding from the IOC for the IOA, no Indian officials attending Olympic meetings and Indian athletes banned from competing at the Olympics under their country's flag.

"The main purpose of today's meetings was to explore the possibility for the suspended IOA to hold free, fair, democratic and transparent elections on the basis of a revised IOA constitution and the Olympic Charter, with no outside interference, that could pave the way for the IOC to consider lifting its suspension of the IOA," the IOC said.

For Indians it was a crucial first step.

"The IOC is going to propose a roadmap on how we can get back into the Olympic fold," said Beijing 2008 Olympics shooting gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, who was part of the Indian delegation.

"That's in the right direction but surely the ban is not lifted as of today. I don't think in one meeting we can expect a ban to be lifted. It's a start, it's a process," he told reporters.

(Additional reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Clare Fallon)

FILED UNDER:

Economic Pulse

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Vodafone Tax Dispute

Vodafone Tax Dispute

India advised against challenging Vodafone tax ruling - source  Full Article 

Banking Sector

Banking Sector

India's laggard state lenders face tough sell on capital raising plan  Full Article 

Trade Deal

Trade Deal

WTO postpones trade deal by a day after last-minute objection.  Full Article 

Falling Oil Prices

Falling Oil Prices

Saudis signal no push for oil cut as market to "stabilise itself"  Full Article 

Raising Stake

Raising Stake

Nippon Life to raise stake in Reliance Capital fund unit  Full Article 

Sterilisation Camps

Sterilisation Camps

Sterilisation targets remain in all but name, critics say  Full Article 

Share Buyback

Share Buyback

Samsung Electronics to buy back $2 billion in shares  Full Article 

Microsoft in China

Microsoft in China

Microsoft to pay China $140 million for 'tax evasion'   Full Article 

Flashback: 26/11

Flashback: 26/11

The three-day attack in November 2008 left 166 dead.  Slideshow 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage