Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Jitendra Singh on Tuesday expressed happiness over the re-entry of India into the Olympics fold, after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) revoked its 14-month old ban on the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
"The Government of India congratulates the IOA, the IOC, the sportspersons and the people of the country who were involved in getting India back in the Olympic movement. The sportsperson and sports lovers have raised their voice for paving the way to get India back in Olympic movement," he told media here today.
"What we have been able to achieve in the last one and a half years of exile was that a major step has been taken to clean up sports. Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports first raised this with IOC that the IOA constitution needs amendment and people who are charged or framed should not be allowed to contest elections," he added.
He further said that majority of the Sports Federations have adopted the sports court, and added that the Government is committed to bring in transparency and good governance in the field of sports.
"We have had various levels of discussions with all the stakeholders and finally I am thankful that IOA finally amended their constitution, and this historic step has been taken that charge-framed people, not people who have been sentenced or convicted, will not be able to contest elections,' he said.
"We have challenges ahead for the Commonwealth and the Asian Games. I am happy to say that now our sportspersons will be able to contest under the Indian flag," he added.
Singh further noted that the Sports Development Bill has included in its provision that all Sports Federations should come under the framework of RTI.
Earlier in the day, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reportedly lifted the 14-month ban on India to officially compete in the Olympics, starting with the Winter Games in Sochi, following the successful completion of elections by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
N. Ramachandran, who is also the president of World Squash Federation, was declared as IOA president after the elections. He is the brother of BCCI chief N Srinivasan.
The three Indian athletes competing in the Winter Games in Sochi could not take part in the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics under the tri-colour due to India's suspension by the IOC.
The IOA had blatantly violated the IOC's orders on more than one occasion throughout last year, following which the IOC gave an ultimatum that it would de-recognise India if the 'charge-framed' persons are not barred from contesting polls, which resulted in the IOA finally amending its constitution as per the world body's directives.
'De-recognition' would mean that India cannot be a part of the Olympic Movement and the country's sportspersons would not be allowed to take part in any international event.