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Rio Paralympics 2016: IPC lifts ban on PCI until Games to allow Indian para-athletes to compete

The ban has only been lifted to allow the para-athletes to compete at the Games and can be re-imposed following its completion.

News 08 Jun 2016, 21:22 IST
Devendra Jhajharia
Indian para-athlete Devendra Jhajharia has already qualified for the Rio Paralympics

Indian para-athletes will breathe a huge sigh of relief after International Paralympic Committee (IPC) temporarily lifted the ban imposed on Paralympic Committee of India, allowing Indian para-athletes to participate in the upcoming Rio Paralympics.

The IPC had suspended the Paralympic Committee of India last year, after they had failed to implement the reforms that were outlined by the world governing body. The suspension was also imposed due to internal conflicts between the governing body, which in turn was hampering the development of Paralympic Movement in India.

However, the suspension has only been upheld until the completion of the Paralympic Games and can be re-imposed after the completion of the event if the PCI fails to make amendments as have been outlined.

20 Indian para-athletes have qualified for the Rio event, which is a record, and the ban has been lifted to allow these athletes to compete at the Games under the tri-colour.

A statement by the world governing body read: "IPC lifted the suspensions of the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) of India and Costa Rica on 31 May with the sole purpose of allowing Para athletes from the two countries to compete at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games under their respective national flags,”

"Both India and Costa Rica need to make major reforms and the IPC will continue to closely monitor the implementation and timeline of these changes. Both countries will not fully satisfy their IPC membership until the reforms we have outlined to them are completed in full," IPC’s chief executive officer Xavier Gonzalez was quoted as saying.

J Chandrasekhar, the secretary of PCI, acknowledged that the ban can be re-imposed by the governing body following the culmination of the games if India fails to implement the reforms that have been outlined.

"From what the IPC wrote to us it is like temporary lifting of the suspension till the end of the Rio Paralympics. They told us to implement the reforms outlined by them by then and if we don't do that, the suspension can be re-imposed.

"We are on our toes to implement the reforms and hoping that we will be able to complete what IPC wants by then so that we return to Paralympic fold permanently," Chandrasekhar said.

IPC decided to lift the ban on PCI after a meeting was convened between representatives from the world governing body, Sports Authority of India (SAI), Sports Ministry and the banned

Following a meeting between the world governing body, PCI, Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Sports Ministry, which was convened in Germany, the IPC decided to temporarily lift the suspension.

The PCI has agreed to allow SAI to monitor and administer entry of athletes and official for the Rio Games. However, the banned body can still work alongside SAI to nominate the Chef de Mission – who will manage the Indian delegation at Rio.

The newly appointed members of the PCI have also been recognized by the governing body in a bid to allow them to implement the outlined reforms to the management structure and the governance of the body.

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