The Newshour Debate: End of Indian Olympic dream? (Part 1of 2)

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In a debate moderated by TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, panelists -- Tarlochan Singh, VP, IOA; Tehseen Poonawalla, Political Analyst & Columnist; Sanjay Jha, Author & Co Founder, Cricketnext.com; Boria Majumdar, Cricket Historian; Morad Ali Khan, CWG Gold Medalist; and Rahul Mehra, Sr Advocate, SC -- discuss the issue of IOC suspends India for govt interference, and whether India's expulsion from the IOA final proof that politics is ruining Indian Sport.

In a major embarrassment for India, the IOC today (Dec 4) suspended the IOA because of govt interference in its election process, a development which puts a bar on the country's Olympic participation. The decision to disaffiliate India was taken on the first day of the IOC's Executive Board meeting, Associated Press reported from Lausanne, quoting two top officials who pleaded anonymity. The decision was largely expected after the IOA decided to go ahead with the elections tomorrow (Dec 5) under the Govt's Sports Code, defying the IOC's diktat to hold the polls under the Olympic Charter. The IOC had repeatedly told the IOA not follow the govt's sports code for the elections on the ground that it would be a violation of the Olympic Charter and compromise autonomy. But the IOA went ahead saying they were bound by the Delhi High Court order. Suspension meant that the IOA will stop receiving IOC funding and its officials will be banned from attending Olympic meetings and events. India's athletes will be barred from competing in Olympic events under their national flag, but they can participate under the IOC banner. Terming the IOC's suspension of IOA a "black day" for India, president-elect Abhay Singh Chautala lashed out at Randhir Singh and said the latter "conspired against the nation and its sportspersons". Holding Randhir responsible for the national Olympic body's suspension, Chautala said the veteran sports administrators should immediately resign from his post in IOC.

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