New Delhi: The Sports Ministry on Wednesday welcomed the International Olympic Committee`s decision to revoke India`s suspension if the IOA holds its polls next year, saying that its own efforts have had a role to play in the world body`s new stand.
The IOC has expressed satisfaction with the IOA for undertaking amendments in its constitution which would bar charge-framed officials from the body.
The IOC asked the IOA to now conduct its polls as soon as possible to ensure a return to the Olympic fold. The IOA has already set aside February 9 to conduct its election.
"The Union Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports (Independent Charge), Shri Jitendra Singh has welcomed the decision taken by International Olympic Committee (IOC) at its Executive Board meeting to lift the suspension of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA)," the Ministry said in a statement.
The Minister stated that this decision of IOC would enable the Indian sportspersons to participate in multi-disciplinary sports events such as Olympic Games, Asian Games, and Commonwealth Games under the Indian National Flag.
"...The pride and prestige associated with playing for the country under its National Flag motivates and lifts the performance of sportspersons," he said.
"The Ministry has been actively engaged with the IOC in the resolution of the matter of suspension of IOA from the time when IOC suspended IOA on 4th December 2013 citing IOA`s failure to comply with the Olympic Charter and its statutes, failure to inform the IOC in a timely manner, and as a protective measure against Government interference in the IOA`s election process."
Singh had led a Government delegation to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Headquarters in Lausanne in May this year in an effort to ensure that a road map was agreed to and conditions were created for ending the suspension of IOA at the earliest.
"IOA has, on its part, agreed to amend its constitution as per IOC`s requirements particularly on the issue of keeping charge-framed sportspersons out of IOA elections.
"The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports has consistently supported the demand of the IOC that charge-framed persons be kept out of IOA. It has been urging IOA members during consultations from time to time to heed the advice of IOC and change its constitution in the interest of Indian sports and Indian sportspersons," the Ministry stated.
Singh expressed happiness that "all these efforts have culminated in decision of IOC revoking suspension of IOA. He expressed the hope that free and fair elections would be held to IOA in February next year as scheduled."