Indian athletes can take part OCA Games but not officials: OCA

New Delhi: The Olympic Council of Asia has barred officials of the suspended IOA from participating in OCA events, but said "as a special case" Indian atheltes will be allowed to take part in the OCA Games, including the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon under the IOC flag.

The OCA's decision came in the wake of the suspension imposed on IOA by the International Olympic Committee earlier this month.

"Taking in cognizance of the decision of the IOC Executive Board, I would like to inform you that no official from the Indian Olympic Association will be allowed to participate in any activities/events being held by the OCA," OCA Director General Husain Al-Musallam wrote in a letter addressed to IOA Acting President Vijay Kumar Malhotra.

"However, taking into consideration the welfare of Indian athletes, the athletes from India, as a special case will be allowed to participate in the OCA Games under the IOC flag only," he added.

The OCA events in which the Indian athletes will be allowed to participate under the IOC flag are fourth Asian Indoor and Martial Art Games in Incheon, Korea from June 29 to July 6, 2013; second Asian Youth Games in Nanjing from August 16 to 24, 2013; Asian Games Centennial Celebrations in Boracay Islands, Philippines from November 25 to 27, 2013; the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, Korea from September 19 to October 4, 2014 and the fourth Asian Beach Games in Phuket from November 14 to 21, 2014.

 In a major embarrassment for India, the IOC had suspended the IOA because of government interference in its election process. The decision to disaffiliate India was taken on the first day of the IOC's two-day Executive Board meeting in Lausanne earlier this month.

The IOC said that it decided to ban India as the IOA had failed to comply with the Olympic Charter and also allowed a tainted official to contest elections for a top post.

The decision was largely expected after the IOA decided to go ahead with its elections under the government's Sports Code, defying the IOC's diktat to hold the polls under the Olympic Charter.

Despite the suspension order, the IOA went ahead with its election process the next day, saying they were bound by the Delhi High Court order.

Abhay Singh Chautala took over as the president of the IOA while the tainted Lalit Bhanot became the secretary general in the newly-elected body, a result which is considered "null and void" by the IOC.