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Thursday, Dec 12, 2019

IOC nod to India for hosting international events

the IOC director of Olympic solidarity and NOC (National Olympic Committees) relations, James MacLeod, wrote to the IOA that it was satisfied with the steps taken by the government, and the restrictions were being withdrawn. This is a relief for India, which has expressed interest in hosting the Olympic Games in 2032 and the Asian Games in 2030.

other-sports Updated: Jun 21, 2019 12:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
New Delhi: Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra during the press conference, in New Delhi on Friday, Jun, 02, 2018. (PTI Photo by Ravi Choudhary)(PTI6_2_2018_000114A)
New Delhi: Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra during the press conference, in New Delhi on Friday, Jun, 02, 2018. (PTI Photo by Ravi Choudhary)(PTI6_2_2018_000114A)(PTI)
         

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) lifted its restrictions on India hosting international Olympic sport events on Thursday. These restrictions had been in place since February, after two Pakistani shooters were denied visas by the Indian government for the ISSF World Cup (pistol and rifle) held in New Delhi.

The IOC had said in February that by denying visas to the shooters, India had violated the Olympic Charter, in particular the principles of non-discrimination, which the IOC and the Olympic Movement stands for. As per the Olympic charter, it is mandatory that equal treatment be guaranteed to all participating athletes and sporting delegations at international sports events, “without any form of discrimination or political interference from the host country”.

On Tuesday, after the government gave a written assurance to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the IOC that all eligible athletes will be allowed to compete without prejudice in international events held in India, the IOC director of Olympic solidarity and NOC (National Olympic Committees) relations, James MacLeod, wrote to the IOA that it was satisfied with the steps taken by the government, and the restrictions were being withdrawn. This is a relief for India, which has expressed interest in hosting the Olympic Games in 2032 and the Asian Games in 2030.

In a letter to the IOA president, Narinder Batra on Thursday, MacLeod said, “The IOC Executive Board understands that the principle of non-discrimination of athletes and teams participating in any future international sports events in India will be fully respected, so that all eligible athletes and sporting delegations, as determined by the international sports organisations concerned, will be allowed to enter the country and participate in any such international sports events irrespective of their country of origin.

“In view of the above, we are pleased to inform that the IOC lifts, with immediate effect, all provisional measures and restrictions imposed in relation to awarding and hosting international sports events in India.”

The sports secretary, Radhey Shyam Jhulaniya, had on Tuesday written to the IOA that the government will “permit all qualified athletes belonging to any NOC recognised by IOC or any national federation affiliated to International Federation concerned to participate. And that, “participation of athletes shall be without prejudice to our principled positions and policies on other political matters including issues such as international recognition or otherwise of the country of origin of the athletes”.

The decision to deny visas to two Pakistani rapid-fire pistol shooters was taken following the Pulwama terror attack where 40 CRPF personnel were killed. In another incident in November last year, Kosovo boxer Donjeta Sadiku was not allowed to participate in the Women’s World Boxing Championships in Delhi, as the country is not recognised by India. This had prompted the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) to warn that it could lose out on hosting international events if it continued to discriminate.