Jan 9, 2014, 1:03 PM EDT
Athletes from the world’s second most populous nation will not march under their flag at the Sochi Olympic Opening Ceremony.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) will hold elections two days after the Opening Ceremony. The International Olympic Committee froze the IOA’s membership in December 2012 after the IOA elected tainted officials.
Even though the IOA will keep those tainted officials out of elections, they will come two days too late, according to Agence France-Presse. The IOC said that if elections were not held before Feb. 7, Indian athletes would be classified “as independent athletes under the Olympic flag,” according to AFP.
It will not be unprecedented — athletes have marched in the Parade of Nations under the Olympic flag before, including 2012 — but Indian Olympic luger Shiva Keshavan called the situation “shameful and pathetic.”
“It is a sad and embarrassing situation that Indian sport has been put in,” he told Mail Today, according to AFP. “People around the world know about the failure of our systems and about corruption and bad governance in sports.
“The essence of the Olympic Games is to represent and I feel it is shameful and pathetic for all of us Indians that athletes may not walk under the Indian flag.”
India, a nation of more than one billion people, has won 26 Olympic medals, all in the Summer Games. It has sent athletes to each of the last four Winter Olympics with a high of four in 2006, according to sports-reference.com.
- Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski preview Skate America 0
- Oscar Pistorius’ agent seeks prison meeting to discuss running future 0
- Alpine skiing women’s World Cup preview 0
- Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski, Terry Gannon named NBC’s lead figure skating announcers 0
- Oscar Pistorius sentenced to maximum 5 years in prison 4
- The jump for the ages: Mike Powell, Bob Beamon and a revered world record 0
- Apolo Ohno on Ironman: A milestone among my 8 Olympic medals 1
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)