IOC happy with IOA constitutional amendments, wants polls

OlympicsThe IOA has set February 9 as the date to hold fresh elections and the IOC said in case the Indian body fails to do so, the country's athletes would have to compete under the Olympic flag in the Winter Games in Sochi scheduled from February 7 to 23.

Pleased with the constitutional amendments undertaken by the IOA to bar charge-framed officials, the International Olympic Committee now wants the Indian body to conduct its elections as soon as possible to ensure a smooth return to the Olympic fold.

In its first Executive Board meeting led by President Thomas Bach since his election in Lausanne, the IOC expressed satisfaction with the IOA for making amendments which would bar charge-framed officials from the contesting the body's elections.

"On Sunday, the currently suspended NOC of India agreed to amend a clause in its constitution as requested by the IOC to meet the basic standards for ethics, good governance and integrity," the IOC said in a statement.

"The Executive Board welcomed these latest positive developments, which pave the way for the IOC to approve the new NOC constitution and for the NOC to hold its elections as soon as possible," it added.

The IOA has set February 9 as the date to hold fresh elections and the IOC said in case the Indian body fails to do so, the country's athletes would have to compete under the Olympic flag in the Winter Games in Sochi scheduled from February 7 to 23.

"Should the NOC not be able to complete the remaining steps of the agreed roadmap by the start of the Sochi Games in February, the EB decided that any Indian athlete that qualifies to compete at Sochi 2014 would be allowed to compete as an independent Olympic participant under the Olympic flag," the IOC stated.

"The Executive Board also made it clear that, in this event, no Indian flags or symbols would be used at the Games."

Meanwhile, India's first individual Olympic gold-medallist, shooter Abhinav Bindra, welcomed the latest developments.

"Happy to see that India's return to the Olympics is close . Hope everything is implemented in the right spirit and before Sochi," he tweeted.

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