India has been invited back to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after being suspended in December 2012.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was suspended after electing Abhay Chautala as IOA president and Lalit Bhanot as secretary-general. Both men had been charged for corruption, and, though they deny the claims, it is against IOC rules to have people in positions of power with corruption charges. The ban forced their Olympic athletes to arrive in Sochi under the Olympic flag and compete as independents. On Sunday, the Indian Olympic Association elected N Ramachandran, who ran unopposed, as president and was then welcomed back to the IOC.

“My immediate job is ensure that India returns to Olympic fold and our athletes take part in international events under the national flag,” Ramachandran said at a press conference following his election.

“I am happy that suspension is over and now Indian teams and players will take part in the International events under the national flag,” said Vijay Kumar Malhotra, former acting president of IOA.


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Indian athletes will now be able to compete under their nation’s flag. During a special ceremony on Tuesday, India’s national flag was raised in the Olympic Village. After being forced to walk in the opening ceremony as independents, the three Indian athletes competing in Sochi will now get to participate in the closing ceremony with their national flag.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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