Ramachandran to lead Indian Olympic Association

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NEW DELHI (AP) - World squash chief Narayna Ramachandran was named the new president of the suspended Indian Olympic Association on Sunday.

The IOA hopes the elections, held under a newly-drafted constitution, will end its current suspension by the International Olympic Committee.

Ramachandran’s election was a foregone conclusion, being the only candidate standing. Most other posts were also filled without a contest with Rajeev Mehta and Anil Khanna chosen as the new secretary-general and treasurer respectively.

India was suspended by the IOC in December 2012 for not holding elections according to its own constitution and for electing tainted officials, including president Abhay Chautala and secretary-general Lalit Bhanot.

Ramachandran was treasurer of the IOA from 2008 to 2012 and was reportedly backed by Chautala and Bhanot.

Both of them were ineligible to stand this time, according to the new IOA constitution.

Bhanot is charged with corruption during the organization of the 2010 Commonwealth Games while Chautala is charged in a recruitment scam not related to sport. Both men deny any wrongdoing.

“We’re happy with the election proceedings,” said Robin Mitchell, who headed a three-member IOC panel that oversaw the elections. “We’ll reach Sochi tomorrow and submit our report to the IOC. It’ll be up to the executive committee to decide on India’s return.”

Ramachandran clinched the top IOA post within a day of his older brother and Indian cricket board chief Narainswamy Srinivasan being named the International Cricket Council’s chairman-designate following a revamp in the world cricket body.

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