IOC suspends India from hosting Olympic-qualifying events

Lausanne (Switzerland): In a major setback for India, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday suspended all Indian applications to host future Olympic-related events until New Delhi guarantees in writing the entry of all participants.

The IOC measure comes after two Pakistani shooters were denied visas to compete in the ISSF Shooting World Cup, starting on Saturday in New Delhi, which also resulted in scrapping of two of the 16 Tokyo Olympic quota places on offer in the marquee tournament.

The denial of visas followed the February 14 Pulwama terror attack that left 40 CRPF troopers dead.

“Since becoming aware of the issue, and in spite of intense last-minute efforts and discussions with the Indian government authorities, no solution has been found to allow the Pakistani delegation to enter India in time to compete,” the IOC statement said.

“As a result, the IOC Executive Board also decided to suspend all discussions with the Indian NOC and government regarding the potential applications for hosting future sports and Olympic-related events in India,” it added.

The global governing body also urged all international sports federations not to hold events in India, or grant hosting rights to the country for future competitions, until the government had provided “clear written guarantees” to ensure access for all athletes.

“The IOC restricted the withdrawal of recognition as an Olympic qualification event to the 25m rapid fire pistol competition in which the two Pakistani athletes were supposed to participate,” it said.

“This happened in the interest of the other 500 athletes from 61 countries participating in the other events who are already in India for their competition.”