Sochi; 17 February 2014: The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) today offered its backing to the newly reinstated Indian Olympic Association (IOA), pledging to support its reintegration to the Olympic Movement and facilitate the full participation of Indian athletes at all Olympic Games, following the ceremony to raise the Indian flag at the Sochi 2014 Mountain Olympic Village yesterday.
Speaking following the flag raising ceremony, IOC Executive Board member and ANOC Senior Vice – President, Patrick Hickey added
“The flag raising ceremony was an historic and highly symbolic event. You could see just what it meant to the athletes. We want as many NOCs as possible to be officialy represented at the Olympic Games and so we are thrilled that the IOA has fulfilled the requirements to get the suspension lifted.”
“As a member of the IOC Executive Board I was delighted to be given the assurances that the IOA had fully respected their new constituion at their General Assembly. The IOA has worked tirelessly to refine their constitution and ensure that it is as open and transparent as possible and they deserve a lot of credit for that. I have no doubt that under the leadership of Narayana Ramachandran, and with the support of organisations like ANOC in promoting NOC best – practice, the IOA will continue to develop and reinforce its position within the Olympic Movement.”
The flag-raising ceremony came after Tuesday’s decision by the IOC Executive Board to lift the suspension on the IOA. The decision was made after a report on the IOA’s recent General Assembly and elections of a new board confirmed that the NOC had fully respected their new constitution and complied with all IOC requirements. It is the first time in Olympic history that the suspension of an NOC has been lifted during an Olympic Games. As well as participating in the raising of the Indian flag at the Olympic Village, Indian athletes will now be allowed to walk behind their national flag at the Closing Ceremony on 23 February.