Indian government backs International Olympic Committee over ethics guidelines
NEW DELHI (AP) - The Indian government backed the IOC on Wednesday in its bid to clean up the country's Olympic association.
The Indian Olympic Association was suspended by the International Olympic Committee last December for not adhering to its own national constitution during elections and for electing Lalit Bhanot, jailed for more than 10 months last year on charges of corruption relating to the 2010 Commonwealth Games, as its new secretary-general.
"Apart from the age and tenure restrictions imposed by the sports code, the government of India also supports the efforts of the IOC to strengthen ethical standards in the IOA, through a clause which stipulates that persons standing for elections as office bearers of the IOA are free from criminal charges," Indian Sports Minister Jitendra Singh said in a statement.
The IOC, which is helping to draft a new IOA constitution, warned last week that a person charged with any criminal offence should not hold office even if the matter is still in court, which was objected to by the IOA.