N. Ramachandran elected as new IOA chief

Last Updated: Sun, Feb 09, 2014 16:13 hrs

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Sunday elected N. Ramachandran as the new president among other office bearers to clear the decks for India's return to the Olympic fold after 14 months of suspension by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

In December 2012, IOC banned Indian Olympic Association after Lalit Bhanot, who spent 11 months in custody in wake of corruption charges that plagued the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and is out on bail, was elected as secretary-general and Abhay Singh Chautala as IOA President.

It meant an effective end of funding from the IOC to the national Olympic committee, no Indian officials attending Olympic meetings and Indian athletes banned from competing at the Olympics under their country's flag.

Newly-elected IOA president, N. Ramachandran, said his priority was to get suspension revoked as soon as possible.

"We have urged, the house has urged the IOC team to take this report back to IOC (executive) e-board to ensure that Indian athletes walk beneath the Indian tricolour once again at the earliest," he said.

An IOC member and observer of the polls, Robin Mitchell, said he is satisfied with the election results of the IOA.

"We have been happy with what has happened as president Ramachandran has expressed. We will be leaving back to Sochi tonight, with Winter Games and IOC executive meeting, and pass on our report on today's proceeding. They will then take the necessary actions and hopefully the outcomes that are expected of today's meeting will be announced very soon," said Mitchell.

World Squash Federation president Ramachandran was elected unopposed after Chautala and Bhanot were debarred from contesting the polls, as charges were framed against them by a court.

Rajeev Mehta and Anil Khanna were elected unopposed as secretary general and treasurer, respectively. (ANI)

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