Indians to compete under Olympic flag in Sochi

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 9, 2014 at 1:17 pm •  Published: January 9, 2014
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LONDON (AP) — India athletes will compete under the Olympic flag — not their national flag — at next month's Winter Games in Sochi.

The three Indians who qualified for the games will compete as "independent" athletes, rather than represent their country, after their national body failed to schedule elections before the start of the Olympics on Feb. 7.

The Indian Olympic Association was suspended by the IOC in December 2012 for electing tainted officials, notably secretary-general Lalit Bhanot, who spent more than 10 months in jail on corruption charges related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

The International Olympic Committee said last month it would lift the suspension once new elections are held. The Indians have set their general assembly for Feb. 9, two days after the opening of the Sochi Olympics.

"Following the executive board decision in December, the IOC is considering all necessary arrangements for the Indian athletes who have qualified for the Sochi Games to take part as Independent Olympic Participants under the Olympic flag," the IOC said in a statement on Thursday.

The trio includes Shiva Kesavan, a 32-year-old luger who will be appearing in his fifth Winter Games.

Kesavan told Indian media that not being able to compete under the national flag was "shameful and pathetic."



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