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Indian Olympic body bids to alter IOC directive

August 25, 2013

NEW DELHI (AP) — The suspended Indian Olympic Association on Sunday sought to alter the International Olympic Committee’s directive that anyone charged with an offence be barred from holding office in the national body.

The IOA proposed that the directive be limited to barring only those found guilty and sentenced to a jail term of two or more years by a court.

“We’ve accepted all the amendments proposed by the IOC except the charge-sheet clause,” IOA official S. Reghunathan said. “We’ve modified that clause and now only those persons who have been convicted by a court for a jail term of two or more years will not be able to contest elections and will be disqualified automatically. This is the same as in the Peoples Representation Act of Parliament.”

According to the IOA’s proposal, those sentenced to less than two years will be referred to an ethics committee.

The IOC, which is helping the Indian body redraft its constitution after suspending it in December for failing to follow its rules and for electing tainted officials, warned the IOA this month that it would be allowed to return to the Olympic fold only if it elects clean officials.

The other proposed changes include restrictions on the age and tenure of officials.

The IOA came into focus after it went ahead with its controversial elections in December and elected Lalit Bhanot as its secretary-general even though he had spent more than 10 months in jail last year over corruption related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

There are several other sports officials in different federations who have been charged with crimes not related to sport.

An Olympic committee suspension means a national body is ineligible for IOC funding, officials from the suspended federation are barred from attending international meetings and its athletes can’t compete under the national flag at the Olympics.

Indian athletes have been participating in international events as “independent athletes” under the IOC flag.

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