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  • India Awaits Elections Before Committing to the IOC


    04/03/19

    (ATR) India remains in the IOC doghouse for now.

    On Wednesday, IOC sources confirmed to Around the Rings the situation in India “has not been discussed at the IOC Executive Board meeting last week”.
    India won't sign guarantees until after elections in May (Wikimedia Commons)

    India provoked a strong punishment from the IOC after the government denied visas in February to two Pakistani shooters and their coach to participate in the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in New Delhi.

    India had blamed Pakistan for a terrorist attack earlier in February in Indian-controlled Kashmir that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary personnel, the latest flashpoint in the long-running political animosity between the two countries.

    The IOC Executive Board suspended all discussions with the Indian NOC and government regarding the potential applications for hosting future sports and Olympic-related events in India on February 21.

    In addition, the IOC recommended that IFs neither award nor hold sports events in India until the New Delhi government gives “clear written guarantees” that all participants in such events will be given entry into the country in full compliance with the rules of the Olympic Charter.

    "Talks are being held with the IOC," Narinder Batra, President of the IOA and the International Hockey Federation (FIH), tells the Times of India. "Updates can't be provided on a day-to-day basis but discussions are on."

    The Indian Olympic Association is working with the IOC (IOA)
    The same newspaper reports that the Indian government has assured the IOA it would provide the written guarantees required by the IOC soon after the announcement of election results on May 23.

    "It's all been discussed. Everything will be sorted out (after elections). We are likely to get the undertaking in the first week of June itself, maybe earlier. The written assurance will then be submitted to the IOC and we are sure that the ban will soon be lifted. India will continue to host sports events as usual. One has to understand it's election season and every decision has a political significance," said an IOA official as quoted by the Times of India.

    As a result of the IOC's decision, the United World Wrestling (UWW) had stripped India of its hosting rights of the Junior Asian championships in July this year.

    Earlier last month, India lost the hosting rights of two premier international tennis tournaments - Junior Davis Cup and Fed Cup - scheduled to be held in the national capital in the month of April.

    The next big tournament which could be affected due to this situation is the FIH Series Final, which is also a pre-Olympic qualifier, to be held in Bhubaneswar from June 6 to 17. Pakistan is not among the participants.

    It is unclear if the latest IOC punishments will affect India’s plans for bidding for the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics, and 2026 Youth Olympic Games.

    If the usual timetable is followed, the formal bid process for 2032 won’t start until 2022, giving India plenty of time to get back into the IOC’s good graces.

    The IOA has said it will also bid for the 2026 Youth Olympics and the 2030 Asian Games.

    Reported by Miguel Hernandez. For general comments or questions, click here.
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