Indian Olympic Association

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Indian Olympic Association
भारतीय ओलम्पिक संघ
Indian Olympic Association  भारतीय ओलम्पिक संघ logo
Indian Olympic Association
भारतीय ओलम्पिक संघ logo
Country/Region  India
Code IND
Created 1924
Recognized 1924
Headquarters New Delhi
President Narayana Ramachandran as of 9 February 2014
Secretary General Rajeev Mehta as of 9 February 2014

The Indian Olympic Association (Hindi: भारतीय ओलम्पिक संघ) is the body responsible for selecting athletes to represent India at the Olympic Games, Asian Games and other international athletic meets and for managing the Indian teams at the events. It also acts as the Indian Commonwealth Games Association, responsible for selecting athletes to represent India at the Commonwealth Games.[1]

Early History[edit]

Indian Olympic Association, 1950s:
Basir Ali Sheikh, Stanley de Noronha, Nalini Ranjan Sarkar, Kamal Kumar, Sohrab Bhoot, M.S. Ahluwalia,President Maharaja of Patiala, S.M. Moinul Haq, B. L. Rallia Ram, B.C. Lele, and others

The background behind the creation of the Indian Olympic Association was related to India’s participation in the 1920 and 1924 Olympics. In 1923, the All India Olympic Games (that later became the National Games of India) were held, and a provisional All India Olympic Committee was formed. Eight athletes from these games were selected to represent India at the 1924 Paris Olympics. Harry Crowe Buck was manager of the team. This gave impetus to the development and institutionalization of sports in India, and, in 1927, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), was created at the initiative of Harry Crowe Buck and Dr. A. G. Noehren (both of the Madras (YMCA) college of Physical Education). Sir Dorabji Tata was important in financing and supporting the movement and became the first IOA president. Messrs Buck and Noehren travelled across India and helped many states organize their olympic associations. Noehren was the first Secretary and G. D. Sondhi was the first assistant secretary of the IOA, and, after Noehren resigned in 1938, Sondhi and S.M. Moinul Haq became the Secretary and Joint Secretary of the IOA.

And so the Indian Olympic Association was formed in 1927, with Sir Dorabji Tata as its first president, and since that year has been the body officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee as India's national Olympic organisation.[1] Dorabji was replaced by Maharaja Bhupindra Singh in 1928 who stayed on the position till 1938.

In the first decade after its founding, the Indian Olympic Association selected sportspersons to represent India at the Olympic Games in 1928, 1932, and 1936.

Subsequently, by 1946-47, the Indian Olympic Association took responsibility only to send the Indian team to the Olympics (principally, this meant arranging transport, board, and accommodation), while the separate National Sports Federations for each sport were responsible for selecting their respective sportspersons and training them. Ahead of the 1948 Olympics, the IOA Council agreed that a team representing athletics, swimming, weight lifting, wrestling, boxing, football, and hockey, with officials for each of these sports, and a Chief Manager, would be entered for the 1948 Olympics.

Thus, from 1948 onward, India began sending teams representing several sports – each selected by its respective sports federation – to the Olympics. And one of the Indian Olympic Association’s main challenges then became that of securing funding – for transport, room, and board – so that it could send the national team to the Olympics. It secured funding from the Indian government, from the state governments, and from various state sports federations. The Indian Olympic Association thus became a clearing house that coordinated the sending of multiple sports teams – that had been selected by their respective sports federations – to the Olympics.

In its first few decades, beyond sending the Indian team to the Olympic Games, the Indian Olympic Association had one other major responsibility: that of holding the biennial National Games (Indian Olympics). It recognised that the promotion of sports in India needed a National Games, because there was no overall National sports federation of India. Instead, there were separate national sports federations for each sport, such as athletics, swimming, basketball, volleyball, wrestling, weightlifting, cycling, boxing, football. These national federations essentially held their national championships at the Indian National Games.

Recent History[edit]

On 4 December 2012, the International Olympic Committee suspended the IOA on the basis of corruption, government interference, and not following guidelines of the IOC. Several members of the IOA have been charged with crimes.[2] The IOA was formally banned for not following the Olympic Charter in their elections, instead following the Indian government's Sports Code. The IOA held elections under the Indian Sports Code due to a directive from the Delhi High Court.[3] On 15 May 2013, International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to lift the ban on the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as Indian representatives from the government and sports bodies reached an agreement with IOC officials.[4] India still did not have its three competitors play under the national flag at the 2014 Olympics. On 9 February, an election was held to choose a head of the IOA. Abhay Singh Chautala and Lalit Bhanot were ineligible due to having a court charge against them. The President of the World Squash Federation Narayana Ramachandran was instead elected.[5]

Governing committee[edit]

Since 26 April 2011, after the arrest of its president Suresh Kalmadi; Vijay Kumar Malhotra was the acting president of the IOA up to 5, December, 2012.[6] The current President, Secretary General and treasurer of the IOA are N. Ramachandran, Rajeev Mehta and Anil Khanna respectively. The election of Lalit Bhanot was considered controversial by some due to his alleged involvement in the Commonwealth Games Scam.[7] The International Olympic Committee suspended India's National Olympic committee on 4 December 2012 because of government interference in its election process.[8] On 11 February 2014, the International Olympic Committee revoked the ban enforced on Indian Olympic Association. As a result, India returned to the Olympic fold after 14-months.[9]

2020 and 2028 Summer Olympic bids[edit]

In 2007 Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi said that Delhi would bid for the 2020 Olympics.[10] However, in 2009 sports minister Manohar Singh Gill said that India would not bid for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games even if it organized a successful 2010 Commonwealth Games.[11] Instead they will bid for 2028.[citation needed][12]

Presidents of the IOA[edit]

  1. Sir Dorabji Tata 1927-1928
  2. Maharaja Bhupindra Singh 1928-1938.
  3. Maharaja Yadavindra Singh 1938-1960. (Elder Son of Maharaja Bhupindra Singh)
  4. Bhalindra Singh 1960-1975. {1st Term} (Younger Son of Maharaja Bhupindra Singh)
  5. Om Prakash Mehra 1976-1980.
  6. Bhalindra Singh 1980-1984. (2nd Term)
  7. Vidya Charan Shukla 1984-1987.
  8. Sivanthi Adithan, 1987-1996.
  9. Suresh Kalmadi, 1996–2012 (Suspended)
    1. Vijay Kumar Malhotra 2012 (Acting)
  10. Suresh Kalmadi, 2012 (Re-instated)
  11. Abhay Singh Chautala, 5 December 2012 – 9 February 2014
  12. Narayana Ramachandran, 9 February 2014 - Till date

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "India at the Commonwealth Games". Commonwealth Games Federation. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "India outrage over IOA suspension from Olympics". BBC News. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  3. ^ PTI (4 December 2012). "IOA suspension is an 'unfortunate decision', says Jitendra Singh". Times of India. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  4. ^ Srinivasan, Kamesh (16 May 2013). "IOC agrees to take India back in Olympic fold". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 
  5. ^ "IOA polls on Sunday, India likely to return to Olympic fold - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 
  6. ^ "Kalmadi has not been removed: Malhotra". Deccan Herald. 27 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "Abhay Chautala becomes IOA President, Lalit Bhanot named Secretary General". Suni System (Pvt) Ltd. 30 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "IOC wants fresh polls before it lifts ban on Indian Olympic Association". Yahoo! Sports Canada. The Canadian Press. 15 January 2013. Archived from the original on 12 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "India's Olympic exile ends as IOC revokes IOA's ban". Times Of India. 11 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Delhi will bid for 2020 Olympics". BBC Sport. BBC North. 28 April 2007. 
  11. ^ "India Won't Bid For 2020 Games". Games Bids Inc. 25 November 2009. 
  12. ^ "Slow advance towards development goals, or lumbering inertia? (Book Review)". Retrieved 2015-11-29. 

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