Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - The International Olympic Committee executive board reinstated the National Olympic Committee of India after an ad-hoc meeting was held Tuesday at the Sochi Games.
The Indian Olympic Association was suspended in December 2012 for failing to comply with the Olympic Charter. The ban was implemented due to the IOA's election of several officials who had been previously charged with criminal activity.
The suspension was lifted after the IOA's general assembly held elections in Sochi for a new board. The elections, which installed head of the World Squash Federation Narayna Ramachandran as the IOA president, were observed by IOC member Robin Mitchell.
The ruling is effective immediately and means Indian athletes can compete under their nation's flag at the Sochi Olympics. Due to the suspension, India's three representatives at the 2014 Winter Games marched under the Olympic flag at last week's opening ceremony.
Indian luger Shiva Keshavan competed as an independent in the men's singles event earlier at the Sochi Games, but alpine skier Himanshu Thakur and cross- country skier Nadeem Iqbal now will be allowed to officially race for their home nation.
The IOC's decision also means Iqbal, Keshavan and Thakur can march with their nation's flag at the closing ceremony. The Indian flag also will be raised at the Olympic Village in Sochi.