The Indian flag will fly once more in the Olympic Games after the country’s governing body was reinstated last weekend.
In 2012, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after it was deemed that the voting procedure had been tainted with officials appointed to the association who had previous corruption charges.
The new IOA board is led by world squash chief, and Indian national, N Ramachandran, which meets international requirements that no person convicted or facing corruption allegations can be included.
Previously, the board’s president had been Abhay Singh Chautala, who was handed the position after running unopposed in December 2012.
Mr Chautala had been sentenced to 11 months in jail the previous year for corruption charges before he was released on bail. Former secretary-general, Lalit Bhanot, was also linked to similar charges.
IOC spokesman, Mark Adams, explained what the decision meant for the athletes. “The decision means Indian athletes can compete for their national Olympic committee. They can walk behind their national flag at the closing ceremony,” he said.
IOC member Randhir Singh also welcomed the decision and said it was ‘great news for Indian sport’.
“It’s time everyone understands that the Olympic charter is supreme. It is important that sport is run well and tainted officials are kept out in a country of 1.2 billion in which 40 per cent is youth,” he told the Associated Press news agency.