Bach says India could be kicked out of Olympics

Updated 07 December 2013
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Bach says India could be kicked out of Olympics

LAUSANNE, Switzerland: India faces the ultimate sanction of being kicked out of the Olympic movement unless it keeps corruption-tainted officials out of its ranks, IOC President Thomas Bach said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Bach said the IOC is prepared to withdraw recognition of the Indian Olympic Association if it fails to comply with “rules of good governance” by Tuesday, a punishment that would leave the world’s second most populous nation out of all Olympic competitions.
“It’s about the principles,” Bach said. “Good governance for the IOC is a key issue. We need to be strict and to make sure the rules of good governance are being applied.”
If India is thrown out, it would be the first time a country has been kicked out of the Olympic movement since South Africa was expelled for its racial segregation policies more than 40 years ago.
The Indian Olympic body is scheduled to meet Sunday in New Delhi to consider amending its constitution to meet the IOC’s directive. If there is no breakthrough, the International Olympic Committee executive board is set to recommend “de-recognition” of the Indian committee at its meeting on Tuesday in Lausanne.
“’We will see if there is any last-moment movement,” Bach said. “If not, then we have to consider to take the next step.”
The IOC suspended the Indian body a year ago because of government interference in its election process. While many of the issues have been resolved since then, the Indians have yet to agree to the IOC demand to bar officials who have been charged with a criminal offense — an impasse which has led to the final ultimatum.
“The (Olympic) charter is clear,” Bach said. “If the suspension leads to no solution, then further steps could be withdrawal of recognition.”
It would be the first major ruling of the IOC board under Bach, who was elected president on Sept. 10, succeeding Jacques Rogge. Bach is the former president of Germany’s national Olympic committee.
The IOC executive board could take a preliminary decision on withdrawing recognition of India. A final ruling would go to the full IOC, which next meets in Sochi, Russia, in early February on the eve of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
“Withdrawal of recognition would mean there is no NOC (National Olympic Committee) any more in India,” Bach said. ” That means no participation, no subsidies.”
Under the current suspension, the Indian body has stopped receiving IOC funding and its officials have been banned from attending Olympic meetings and events. India’s athletes are barred from competing in Olympic events under their national flag.
Stripping India completely of IOC recognition would leave the country without any Olympic involvement. It would keep Indian athletes out of the Olympics and related events such as the Asian Games. Other international federations could also follow suit.
The IOC has given athletes from suspended nations the chance to compete as individuals under the Olympic flag. It’s unclear what options could be open to Indian athletes if their Olympic body is expelled.
“In the Olympics we would have to see whether we would find individual solutions, but they could in no way represent India,” Bach said. “We always want to protect the interest of the athletes. We have to consider a way. I cannot tell you what the result will be.”
The IOC said India has three athletes, including two skiers and a luger, who have qualified for the Sochi Games. Sanctions would hurt more for the Summer Olympics, which will next be held in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. India’s participation could also be affected for the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, from Sept. 19-Oct. 4.


Simona Halep positive despite Dubai defeat by Belinda Bencic

Updated 21 February 2019
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Simona Halep positive despite Dubai defeat by Belinda Bencic

  • Former world No.1 blames three-set loss on tiredness after nine matches in 13 days.
  • Halep has high hopes for the rest of 2019, saying her game is in good shape.

LONDON: Simona Halep is still certain a good year lies in store for her despite losing to Belinda Bencic in the Dubai quarterfinals.
The Romanian former world No. 1 was the favorite to win her second title in the emirate but ran out of steam as her Swiss opponent ran out 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 winner.
It was Halep’s ninth match in just 13 days and she admitted tiredness had caught up with her.
“It was really difficult physically. I was tired,” the world No. 2 said.

Bencic came from a set down to beat the favorite in the last-eight encounter in Dubai. (AFP) 


“After the second set, I felt like I’m getting cramping a little bit. It’s normal. I was sweating a lot.”
While, her fatigue was clear for all to see, Halep was not using it as an excuse, admitting Bencic, who has now beaten her in two of their three matches, was the deserved winner.
“Yeah, she played well. She played very well. In the end, she was a little bit stronger,” the Romanian said.
Having lost in the Qatar final last weekend and failed to make the last-four in Dubai you might think Halep would be disappointed with her Middle East stint. She was, however, far from glum and revealed she is looking forward to landing more titles to add to her collection during the rest of the year.

Cheerio from Halep after her defeat to the Swiss. (AFP) 


“I think were three good weeks. Tough weeks. A lot of tension, a lot of pressure. Also the Fed Cup,” she said.
“I take only positive things. I had great matches. My level is good. Physically also I’m good. But day by day I had to play, so is not easy.
“I’m confident for the next tournaments.”