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 1927
Recognized 1927
Headquarters New Delhi, India
President Narayana Ramachandran
Secretary General Rajeev Mehta

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, 1942:
Top Row, l to r: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7-Basir Ali Sheikh, 8 - Stanley de Noronha, 9, 10, 11
Middle Row, l to r: 1- Nalini Ranjan Sarker, 2- Kamal Kumar, 3, 4, 5, 6- Sohrab Bhoot, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11-M.S. Ahluwalia
Seated, l to r: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5-President Maharaja of Patiala, 6- S.M. Moinul Haq, 7 - B. L. Rallia Ram, 8,9- G D Sondhi

Background and early years: The background behind the creation of the Indian Olympic Association was related to India’s participation in the 1920 and 1924 Olympics. After the 1920 Games, the committee sending the team to these games met, and, on the advice of Sir Dorab Tata, invited Dr. Noehren (Physical Education Director of YMCA India) to be secretary, along with AS Bhagwat, of the provisional Indian Olympic Committee; Dorab Tata would serve as its president. Subsequently, in 1923-24, a provisional All India Olympic Committee was formed, and the All India Olympic Games (that later became the National Games of India) were held in Feb 1924. Eight athletes from these games were selected to represent India at the 1924 Paris Olympics, accompanied by manager Harry Crowe Buck. 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).[2] Sir Dorab Tata was important in financing and supporting the movement and became the first Indian Olympic Association president in 1927. Messrs Buck and Noehren travelled across India and helped many states organise their Olympic associations. Noehren was the first Secretary and G. D. Sondhi was the first assistant secretary of the Indian Olympic Association, and, after Noehren resigned in 1938, Sondhi and S.M. Moinul Haq became the Secretary and Joint Secretary of the Indian Olympic Association.

And so the Indian Olympic Association was formed in 1927, and since that year was officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee as India's national Olympic organisation.[1] In 1928, Maharaja Bhupindra Singh took over as Indian Olympic Association president.

Early tasks:

  • Sending Teams to the Olympics: In its first decade, 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 federations for each sport were responsible for selecting and training competitors for their sport. Reflecting this, 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. And so, from 1948 onward, India began sending teams representing several sports – each selected by its respective sports federation – to the Olympics.
  • Securing Funding: One of the Indian Olympic Association’s main early challenges was to secure funding, so that it could send the national team to the Olympics and finance the related costs of transport, room, and board. It obtained funding from the Indian government, from the state governments, and from various state sports federations.

Illustrating this, IOA President Yadavindra Singh's appeal for funding in 1948 stated: "We need about 3 Lacs of rupees to finance" the Indian Olympic team for the London Olympics; that "the youth taking part in these games become ambassadors of goodwill" for India; and that "careful selection, intensive training and proper equipment is most essential" to field a competitive team, but that the Indian Olympic Association is "greatly handicapped for want of sufficient funds" for these tasks.[3]

The Indian Olympic Association thus undertook wider outreach with several national sports federations, and essentially became a clearing house that coordinated the sending of multiple sports teams – each selected by their respective sports federations – to the Olympics.

  • The National Games: The Indian Olympic Association had one other major responsibility: that of holding the biennial National Games (Indian Olympics). It recognised, in the 1920s-1940s, 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 federations for each sport, such as athletics, swimming, basketball, volleyball, wrestling, weightlifting, cycling, boxing, football. These sports 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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] 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 court charges against them. The president of the World Squash Federation, Narayana Ramachandran, was instead elected.[7]

IOA Presidents[edit]

S.No. Name TenureBold text
1. Sir Dorabji Tata 1927-1928
2. Maharaja Bhupinder Singh 1928-1938
3. Maharaja Yadavindra Singh 1938-1960
4. Mr. Bhalindra Singh 1960-1975
5. Mr. Om Prakash Mehra 1976-1980
6. Mr. Bhalindra Singh 1980-1984
7. Mr. Vidya Charan Shukla 1984-1987
8. Mr. Sivanthi Adithan 1987-1996
9. Mr. Suresh Kalmadi 1996-2012
Mr. Vijay Kumar Malhotra 2012 (Acting)
10. Mr. Suresh Kalmadi 2012
11. Mr. Abhay Singh Chautala 5 December 2012 – 9 February 2014
12. Mr. Narayana Ramachandran 9 February 2014 - Till date
13.   Mr. #Mohan Chandra Pal
  • Indian members of the International Olympic Committee were Dorab Tata (1920-1930), G D Sondhi (1932 to the 1950s), and Raja Bhalindra Singh (since 1947). They served as ambassadors of the International Olympic Committee to the Indian Olympic Association.[8]

IOA Secretary Generals[edit]

S. No. Name Tenure
1. Dr. A. G. Noehren until 1938
2. Prof. Guru Dutt Sondhi 1938 onward
3. Prof. Moin-ul-Haq 1952 - 1956
4. Mr. Ashwini Kumar
5. Mr. Pankaj Gupta
6. Mr. J. C. Paliwal
7. Air Vice-Marshal C. L. Mehta
8. Dr. Rohan Lal Anand
9. Raja Randhir Singh 1987 - 2012
10. Mr. Lalit Bhanot 2012 - 2014
11. Mr. Rajeev Mehta 9 February 2014 - Till Date

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.[9] 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.[10] The International Olympic Committee suspended India's National Olympic committee on 4 December 2012 because of government interference in its election process.[11] 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.[12]

IOA Executive Committee[edit]

    • President — N Ramachandran
    • Sr. Vice-President — Mr. Virendra D. Nanavati
  • Vice-Presidents

Dr. Akhilesh Das
Mr. Birendra Prasad Baishya
Mr. Tarlochan Singh
Mr. G.S. Mander
Mr. Janardan Singh Gehlot
Mr. Parminder Singh Dhindsa
Mr. R. K. Anand
Mr. Anurag Thakur

    • Secretary General — Mr. Rajeev Mehta
    • Treasurer — Mr. Anil Khanna
  • Joint Secretaries

Mr. Rakesh Gupta
Dr. Surinder Mohan Bali
Raja K. S. Sidhu
Mr. Kuldeep Vats
Mr. Anandeshwar Pandey
Ms. Sunaina Kumari

  • Executive Members

Mr. Bhubneshwar Kalita
Mr. Balbir Singh Kushwaha
Mr. Dhanraj Choudhary
Mr. Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi
Mr. Ajit Banerjee
Mr. Vikram Singh Sisodia
Mr. Avadhesh Kumar
Mr. Namdev Shirgaonkar
Mr. Adhip Das
Mr. Bhupender Singh

State Olympic Associations[edit]

  1. Andaman & Nicobar State Olympic Association
  2. Andhra Pradesh Olympic Association
  3. Arunachal Pradesh Olympic Association
  4. Assam Olympic Association
  5. West Bengal Olympic Association
  6. Bihar Olympic Association
  7. Chandigarh Olympic Association
  8. Chhattisgarh Olympic Association
  9. Delhi Olympic Association
  10. Diu-Daman Olympic Association
  11. Goa Olympic Association
  12. Gujarat State Olympic Association
  13. Haryana Olympic Association
  14. Himachal Pradesh Olympic Association
  15. Jammu & Kashmir Olympic Association
  16. Jharkhand Olympic Association
  17. Karnataka Olympic Association
  18. Kerala Olympic Association
  19. Madhya Pradesh Olympic Association
  20. Maharashtra Olympic Association
  21. Manipur Olympic Association
  22. Meghalaya State Olympic Association
  23. Mizoram Olympic Association
  24. Nagaland Olympic Association
  25. Orrisa Olympic Association
  26. Pondicherry Olympic Association
  27. Punjab Olympic Association
  28. Rajasthan Olympic Association
  29. Sikkim Olympic Association
  30. Tamil Nadu Olympic Association
  31. Olympic Association of Telangana
  32. Tripura State Olympic Association
  33. Uttarakhand Olympic Association
  34. Uttar Pradesh Olympic Association
  35. Services Sports Control Board

National Sports Federations[edit]

National sports federations are categorized in two categories i.e. Olympic Sports and Other Recognized Sports

IOC Permanent Olympic Sports[edit]

Rocball---Rocball federation of India

Sport National Federation
Aquatics Swimming Federation of India
Archery Archery Association of India
Athletics Athletics Federation of India
Badminton Badminton Association of India
Basketball Basketball Federation of India
Boxing Indian Amateur Boxing Federation
Canoeing Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Association
Cycling Cycling Federation of India
Equestrian Equestrian Federation of India
Fencing Fencing Association of India
Football All India Football Federation
Golf The Indian Golf Union
Gymnastics Gymnastic Federation of India
Handball Handball Federation of India
Hockey Hockey India
Judo Judo Federation of India
Modern Pentathlon Modern Pentathlon Federation of India
Rowing Rowing Federation of India
Rugby Indian Rugby Football Union
Shooting National Rifle Association of India
Table Tennis Table Tennis Federation of India
Taekwando Taekwando Federation of India
Tennis All India Tennis Association
Triathlon Indian Triathlon Federation
Volleyball Volleyball Federation of India
Weightlifting Indian Weightlifting Federation
Wrestling Wrestling Federation of India

IOC Winter Olympic Sports[edit]

These all sports are under the Winter Games Federation of India.

Sport National Federation
Ice Hockey Ice Hockey Association of India
Ice Skating Ice Skating Association of India
Luge Indian Amateur Luge Association

IOC recognized sports[edit]

Following are the National Sports Federation of sports which are recognized by IOC.

Sport National Federation
Billard The Billards & Snooker Federation of India
Bowling Bowling Federation of India
Netball Netball Federation of India
Squash Squash Rackets Federation of India
Wushu Wushu Association of India
MUAY MuayThai India


Following are some sports which IOC does not recognise as a Sport.

Sport National Federation
Arm wrestling Indian Arm Wrestling Federation
Kabaddi Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India
Kho Kho Kho Kho Federation of India
Yachting Yachting Association of India

Select Olympians[edit]


Sport Sportsperson Medal Year Host Country
Weightlifting Ms. Karanam Malleswari Bronze 2000 Sydney Olympics
Boxing Mary Kom Bronze 2012 London Olympics
Badminton Saina Nehwal Bronze 2012 London Olympics
Wrestling Sakshi Malik Bronze 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics
Badminton Pusarla Venkata Sindhu Silver 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics


Multi-sport events hosted by IOA[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "India at the Commonwealth Games". Commonwealth Games Federation. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Dr A G Noehren was National Physical Education Director of the YMCAs in India, and H C Buck was Principal of the National YMCA school of physical education in Madras
  3. ^ Appeal by Yadavindra Singh, President, Indian Olympic Association, 1948
  4. ^ "India outrage over IOA suspension from Olympics". BBC News. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  5. ^ PTI (4 December 2012). "IOA suspension is an 'unfortunate decision', says Jitendra Singh". Times of India. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  6. ^ Srinivasan, Kamesh (16 May 2013). "IOC agrees to take India back in Olympic fold". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 
  7. ^ "IOA polls on Sunday, India likely to return to Olympic fold". The Times Of India. 
  8. ^ The Olympic Games, IOC Lusanne, 1958
  9. ^ "Kalmadi has not been removed: Malhotra". Deccan Herald. 27 April 2011. 
  10. ^ "Abhay Chautala becomes IOA President, Lalit Bhanot named Secretary General". Suni System (Pvt) Ltd. 30 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "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. 
  12. ^ "India's Olympic exile ends as IOC revokes IOA's ban". Times Of India. 11 February 2014. 

External links[edit]