Friday, January 14, 2011

India Could Be Banned From Olympics

Not too far from an Olympic ban. Wake up time

IOC warns India could be banned from OlympicsThis is one bit of news no Indian sports lover would love to hear this festive season. After a year that was dominated by great efforts on the field and terrible controversies off it, the Indian Olympic Association is now on the verge of facing an international ban by the International Olympic Committee. If that happens, India will not be able to take part in the LondonOlympics. Can the authorities wake up at least now?
This was coming. The way sport is run in India is a known fact. That bad 'run' is set to cost India dear as the IOC has sent out a stern message. The International Olympic Committee at its Executive Board meeting warned India of a possible ban from the Olympics unless it resolves the spat over the country's sports chiefs. After a two-day meeting here, the IOCexecutive board said India will have take care of a number of issues. 

"Consequently if the situation does not evolve positively, the IOC executive board will consider taking appropriate measures and actions which might seriously affect the representation and participation of India at the Olympic Games and international sports events coming up," the IOC said in a statement. 

The international Olympic body insisted that the Indian government had agreed at a meeting here last year to adopt a jointly draft constitution while will respect the autonomy of the Indian Olympic Association and the national federations affiliated under it. 

IOC's threat came after the India government last year decided to limit the tenure and age of the country's top sports officials. If the Indian government refuses to move from its stance, the IOC has the power to impose sanctions including suspending the country from its membership -- a move that would prevent it taking part in the 2012 London Olympics.
Join the discussion
Do you think Indian sport continues to suffer from political interference?
A. Yes. It will never change in India. IOC's warning has come at the right time. 
B. No. Our political bosses will never learn lessons till the damage is done.
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IOC warns India could be banned from Olympics
Old bosses must go immediately
It will be highly important for the Indian authorities to take this message seriously and address the issues at the earliest. After all, the IOC has shown in recent times it means what it says. Back at the start of 2010, the IOC had banned Kuwait from international events for not conforming with the IOC guidelines and for excessive political interference into the way sport is run in that country.
Kuwait had failed to meet the IOC's December deadline for amending government legislation that permits the Gulf state to interfere in elections of sporting organisations. The shocked Kuwaiti athletes then pleaded with IOC to take part in the Asian Games of Guangzhou. Under some kind of 'mercy petition', IOC allowed 195 Kuwaiti athletes to take part in the Asian Games but very strictly under the IOC banner. They were labelled as 'athletes from Kuwait' during the Games at Guangzhou.
That wasn't the only case in recent times. The IOC also cracked the whip on Ghana just yesterday before warning India. The Ghanaian National Committee faced the suspension after the national government failed to take agreed steps to ensure no political interference in the body. It may also be recalled here that back in 2008, the IOC had barred the five Iraqi contestants from Olympics after Iraq failed to resolve the situation of 'political interference'. Given the two suspensions of fairly high profile sporting countries in the last 12 months, India will need to pull up its socks immediately and respond to the warnings of IOC.
What could happen if IOC bans India?
1. Indian athletes will not be able to compete in Olympics and major international events like Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and others 
2. Athletes who would want to compete in those events will need to apply to IOC and obtain clearance to participate under the IOC banner and not as athletes from India 
3. India will not be eligible to claim any funds from IOC 
4. India will not be eligible to bid for any IOC events 
5. Long term repercussions will be far more severe
The message from IOC this time around is more than just a subtle one. The so-called Kalmadis, Bhanots, Gills and all the ageing heads of governing bodies in India should immediately call it quits and allow the new generation to take over and resolve the issues. This has to happen now. Otherwise, don't be surprised to read a worse headline sometime soon.
Join the discussion
Do you think Indian sport continues to suffer from political interference?
A. Yes. It will never change in India. IOC's warning has come at the right time. 
B. No. Our political bosses will never learn lessons till the damage is done

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