Indian athletes hope ban could bring change
Indian athletes hope ban could bring change
At a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland on Tuesday, the IOC banned the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and said a vote to elect its secretary-general yesterday would be “null and void.”
Lalit Bhanot, who spent 11 months in custody last year following corruption charges that plagued the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and who is out on bail, was left as the only candidate for the post after his rivals pulled out.
The ban means an effective end to funding from the IOC, no Indian officials attending Olympic meetings and Indian athletes banned from competing at the Olympics under their country’s flag.
“This is unfortunate. As a sportsperson, I feel like I have been orphaned,” shooter Joydeep Karmakar told Reuters.
“It’s a big blow to us. I think the IOC is going to suspend funding and there could be other repercussions as well,” added Karmakar, who just missed out on a bronze medal in the men’s 50m rifle prone at the London Olympics.
“Playing under the national flag means a lot for us. Competing under the Olympic flag won’t give you the same feeling.
“At the same time, I’m optimistic it would lead to a new body which would be more efficient and more responsible.”
Former double trap shooter Moraad Ali Khan echoed Karmakar’s sentiments.
“Standing on the podium with the national anthem being played and the nation’s flag unfurled, it’s a different feeling altogether and it has been taken away from Indian athletes,” Khan told Reuters.
“But when medicine doesn’t work, what do you do? You go for surgery and we had reached that stage.”
Khan, who won gold at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games in men’s double trap pair, said it seemed like the IOC’s move was the last resort.
“Only a drastic step like this could have shaken the ailing system. It’s time for taking the corrective measures. Maybe you won’t see overnight changes but I expect some positive developments in the coming months.”
Shooter Abhinav Bindra, who won India’s first individual Olympic gold at the 2008 Beijing Games, was also left hoping the ban could bring about a better governing body to run sports in the world’s second most populous nation.
Bindra is one of the few Indian athletes to consistently question India’s sports administrators.
“Bye Bye IOA, hope to see u again soon, hopefully cleaner!” he said on his Twitter feed.
The IOC’s move to ban the Indian body, which has been plagued by in-fighting and criticized for lacking transparency, also found favor outside India’s sporting community.
Best-selling Indian author Chetan Bhagat suggested even more drastic measures were in order.
“As an Indian, I am happy that the IOA has been suspended. Some of our authorities change only when thoroughly shamed,” he Tweeted.
“Dear IOC, you have suspended the IOA. Now if only you could round up the officials, take a javelin and ... oh well, one step at a time.”
LeBron’s last-second shot gives Cavs 98-95 win in Game 5
- James' 3-pointer buzzer beater puts Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs
- James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists.
CLEVELAND: LeBron James hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, a crowning moment for another brilliant performance, to give Cleveland a 98-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night in Game 5, putting the Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Moments after blocking Victor Oladipo’s possible go-ahead driving layup, James caught the inbounds pass, took two dribbles and dropped the winner over Thaddeus Young.
As Cleveland’s sellout crowd exploded, James hugged rookie teammate Cedi Osman before jumping on the scorer’s table to celebrate another of those moments that will define his career.
James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and went 15 of 15 from the line.
Kyle Korver added 19 points and Cleveland’s much-maligned defense tightened just in time as the Cavaliers seized their first lead in the first-round series after being down 1-0 and 2-1.
Cleveland can close out Indiana with a win Friday night in Indianapolis.
Domantas Sabonis scored 22 points, and Young had 16 for the Pacers, who battled back to tie it 95-all on Sabonis’ 15-foot jumper with 33 seconds left. Indiana, which held Cleveland without a field goal for more than seven minutes during their fourth-quarter rally forced James into a turnover and had a chance to re-take the lead.
Oladipo, who shot just 2 of 15, drove the left side and was at the rim when James swooped in for a block on a play reminiscent of his Game 7 block on Andre Iguodala in the 2016 NBA Finals.
Oladipo’s shooting woes continued. He’s only 12 of 50 from the field in the last three games. He scored 32 in the Pacers’ Game 1 win, but the Cavs have been double-teaming him ever since.
The third quarter has been a major problem for Cleveland all season. The Cavs had tried everything to try and shake things up after halftime, even doing layup lines at the break in Game 4 like a high school squad.
Turns out, all it took was some defensive intensity.
Down by seven at half, the Cavs swarmed the Pacers in the third quarter, forcing five turnovers in the first six minutes and holding Indiana to one field goal over the first 6:52 while opening with a 19-3 run.
Cleveland outscored Indiana 32-17 in the third, when the Pacers shot just 5 for 16 (31 percent) and committed seven turnovers.
The Cavs were again without starting point guard George Hill, who missed his second straight game with back spasms.
James had enough to worry about with the Pacers that he didn’t want to discuss close friend Dwyane Wade’s future.
Miami’s star is mulling retirement after the Heat were eliminated Tuesday in Philadelphia. James spent four years playing in Miami with Wade, who began this season with the Cavs before being traded.
James said that following his last game against Wade he told him, “’If it’s like our last time going against each other, then it’s been everything and more.” James wants to wait for Wade to make his decision and will then “give a more in-depth analysis of his career if he decides to hang ‘em up.”
Pacers: Following Lance Stephenson’s aggressive, wrestling-like takedown of Jeff Green in the waning moments of Game 4, coach Nate McMillan said he reminded the fiery forward to be careful. “The officials are going to be watching that, Lance knows that and there are some times where I think they (the Cavs) are taking advantage.” ... Dropped to 2-12 in their last 14 games in Cleveland. ... James’ triple-double in Game 4 was the sixth against Indiana in the playoffs. James has done it to the Pacers three times.
Cavaliers: With his 21st 40-point game in the playoff, James tied the logo — Jerry West — for the second-most all-time. Michael Jordan scored at least 40 in 38 postseason games. .... Hill’s back has improved in the past few days, but he didn’t look close to playing while sitting stiffly in his locker-room chair before the game. ... Browns Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown sat courtside.
Game 6 is Friday night at Indianapolis.